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I. EARLY FORESTS . . . . i 

II. THE FOREST COURTS . . . . . 10 












XV. DUFFIELD FRITH . . . . .181 



AND HEREFORD ..... 223 


















Verderer's Slab, Bakewell . . . . . . 17 

J. Charles Wall. 

Verderer's Slab, Chelmorton . . . . . . 18 

J. Charles Wall. 

Forester's Slab, Wirksworth . . . 18 
J. Charles Wall. 

Forester's Slab, Bakewell . . . ... 19 

J. Charles Wall. 

Forester's Slab, Hope . . . . ... 19 

J. Charles Wall. 

Forester's Slab, Hope . . . . ... 21 

J. Charles Wall. 

Forester's Slab, Papplewick . . . . . . 21 

J. Charles Wall. 

Woodward's Slab, Newcastle-on-Tyne . . ... 23 
J. Charles Wall. 

Woodward's Slab, Papplewick . . . ... 23 

J Charles Wall. 

Hunting Dog's . . . . ... 51 

Berners or Harbourers . . . . 55 

Wyrall Effigy . . . . . ... 66 

Wyrall Effigy . . . . . ... 67 

Deer Hunters of Cranborne Chase . . ... 83 

V. M. M. Cox. 

Hunting Costume, Seventeenth Century . . ... 89 

Chief Forester's Slab, Durham . . . ... 97 

J. Charles Wall. 

Hunting Costume, Thirteenth Century . . ... 182 

Letters in Centre of Oak . . . . . . 221 

Hunting Costume, Fourteenth Century . . ... 238 

Cattle Brands, Essex Forest . . . ... 285 

The Hart (Turbervile) . . . . ... 298 

King and Queen Oaks, New Forest . . ... 308 
M. E. Purser. 

The Hare (Turbervile) . . . . i. . . 334 


The Greendale Oak .... 

From Strutt's Sylva Jiritannica, 1826. 

I. The King- Hunting- (i) . 

Brit. Mus. MSS., Royal 10 E. iv., ff. 253-4. 

II. The King- Hunting (2) .... 
Brit. Mus. MSS., Royal 10 E. iv., ff. 255-6. 

III. Head of Attachment Court Roll 

Accounts Exch. Q. R., >f, temp. Edw. II. 

IV. Red Deer ..... 

From Gilpin's Forest Scenery, 1791. 

V. Wild Boars ..... 

Brit. Mus. MSS., Add. 27, 699. 

VI. Wolf and Sheepfold and Wild Goats 

Brit. Mus. MSS., Royal 12 C. xix., ff. 14, 19. 

VII. Pigs of the New Forest .... 
From Gilpin's Forest Scenery, 1791. 

VIII. Netting in Woods and Streams 

Brit. Mus. MSS., Cott., Tib. A. vii., f. 51. 

IX. The Four Beasts of Venery 
X. The Four Beasts of Chase 

XI. The Four Beasts of Sport 

Plates IX., X., and XI., are from Cott. MSS., Vesf. B. xii., 
ff. i, 2. 

XII. Maple Tree, Boldre Churchyard 

From Strutt's Sylva Britannica, 1826. 

XIII. Straw Helmets and Swindgel of the Deerhunters of 

Cranborne Chase .... 

V. M. M. Cox. 

XIV. Deer Stalking ..... 

Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 27, 699, ff. 108-9. 

XV. Forest Hermit ..... 
Brit. Mus. MSS., Royal 19 E. iii., f. 133. 

To face page 4 





1 08 


XVI. Berner and Limehound, and Cross-bow Shooting To face page 122 
XVII. Dog- Leeching and Rewarding the Hounds . . ,, 140 

XVIII. Foxes, Deer in Forest, and Wolves . . ,, 164 

Plates XVI., XVII., and XVIII. are from Add. MSS., 27, 699, 
ff. 6, 20, 23, 28, 50, 58, 109. 

XIX. Sherwood Forester of Fee, Skegby Church . . ,, 204 

Photograph from the Rev. H. J. Stamper. 

XX. Monument of Thomas Leake, Blidworth Church . ,, 216 

Photograph from the Rev. R. H. Whit worth. 

XXI. Hay wood Oaks, Blidworth . . ,, 222 

Photographs from Rev. R. H. Whitworth. 

XXII. Ladies Rabbiting . . . ,, 304 

Brit. Mus. MSS., Royal 10 E. iv. 

XXIII. The Hill Woods, Lyndhurst . . ,,316 

From " The New Forest," Horace G. Hutchinson. 

XXIV. A Deer Leap, Wolseley Park . ,, 330 

W. Salt, Arch. Soc., vol. v. 


COUNTY historians have, as a rule, with but rare ex- 
ceptions, either entirely ignored the story of the royal 
forests within their confines, or have treated the subject 
after the most meagre fashion. Nevertheless, there is abundant 
and most interesting material for their history at the Public 
Record Office in a mass of documents which are but very 
rarely consulted. Occasionally, too, much can be gleaned from 
manuscripts at the British Museum, Cambridge University 
Library, Guildhall, or Lincoln's Inn, and in a few cases from 
rolls or books of forest proceedings in private hands. 

If references had been given to every document cited, almost 
every page would have bristled with footnotes, involving a 
considerable curtailment of the rest of the letterpress. Not 
a single statement, however, is made where no author is cited 
save on the authority of original and contemporary records. 

It may be helpful to some to state the chief classes of 
documents whence forest lore is to be obtained in the vast 
national depository in Chancery Lane. 

(1) Placitag Foresta, or Forest Proceedings, Chancery 
John to Charles I. consisting of presentments, claims, per- 
ambulations, etc., before the Justices in Eyre of the Forests. 
They are contained in 156 bundles, and an inventory of their 
contents will be found in the Dep.-Master of Rolls Reports, v., 
App. ii., 46-56. 

(2) Swainmote Court Rolls of Windsor, 2 Edw. VI. to 
14 Charles I. Inventory in Report, v., App. ii., 57-9. 


(3) Forest Proceedings, Exchequer, Treasury of Receipt, 
Henry III. to Charles II. To these documents there are three 
volumes of MS. Calendars. 

(4) Miscellaneous Books of Exchequer, Treasury of Receipt, 
vol. 75, Edw. I.; assarts and wastes in diverse forests, vol. 76; 
pleas and presentments of Sherwood, Hen. III. to Edw. III.; 
vol. 77, game in all forests north of the Trent, 30 Hen. VIII. 

(5) A Book of Orders concerning Royal Forests, 1637-1648. 
State Papers, Domestic, Charles I., vol. 384. 

(6) Records of Duchy of Lancaster. A great variety of 
forest presentments, attachments, perambulations, pleas, etc., 
Hen. III. to James I., pertain to Lancashire, Yorkshire, 
Staffordshire, Derbyshire, etc. A printed list of all the Duchy 
Records was issued in 1901; those relating to forests are on 
pp. 39-47. Among the maps and plans (pp. 76-80) are many 
relating to the Forest of the High Peak. 

(7) Lists of Minister Accounts, with thorough indexes, were 
issued in 1899 ; much royal forest information occurs in many 
of these accounts. 

(8) Occasionally Court Rolls of Manors, etc., yield informa- 
tion ; these also have printed lists and indexes, issued in 1896. 

(9) Both Close and Patent Rolls for the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries abound in royal forest incidents; they have been 
well calendered (printed) for the greater part of this period. 

As to these records, I have a large number of references and 
brief extracts far more than are used in the following pages 
for the different counties, and I would gladly on application 
save trouble, if I could, to any genuine worker as to a particular 
forest or forests. 

With regard to printed books that bear on the subject, 
references to the more important will be found in each of the 
chapters ; but there are three of such real value on this little 
studied subject that they demand special mention. 

In 1887, Mr. W. R. Fisher published a 4to volume on 
The Forest of Essex: its History, Laws, Administration, and 
Ancient Customs, and the Wild Deer which lived in it. The 


book owed its origin to the spirited action of the Corporation 
of the City of London, in rescuing much of the illegally en- 
closed land of Epping Forest ; it is based throughout on 
documentary evidence, and illustrates, in many ways, forest 
law and procedure in other counties besides Essex. 

The documents relative to the Yorkshire Forest of Pickering 
are exceptionally voluminous and interesting. They sufficed 
to fill four volumes of the new series of the North Riding 
Record Society, and were put forth by Mr. R. B. Turton 
between 1894-7. I na cl obtained transcripts of many of these 
documents in 1890, and made considerable extracts from others 
in 1902-3 before I was acquainted with these books. They are 
not well arranged, but both transcripts and introductions are 
of the greatest value to the forest student, particularly of the 
fourteenth century. 

In 1901 the Selden Society issued Mr. G. J. Turner's Select 
Pleas of the Forest, the one masterly work on English forest 
law and procedure, more especially of the thirteenth century. 
To this admirable volume these pages are much indebted, and 
from it not infrequent quotations have by leave been taken. 
I desire also here to gratefully acknowledge the help I have 
received from Mr. Turner, outside his published work, and 
particularly for his reading the proof of the earlier chapters, 
though it is not to be understood that he is responsible for any 
statements. It is much to be hoped that Mr. Turner will ere 
long produce another book on the later Forest Pleas in the 
time of their decadence. 

Passing long periods of my earlier life within the bounds of 
two old royal forests, Exmoor, Somerset, and Duffield Frith, 
Derbyshire, and living subsequently close to the confines of 
the Staffordshire forests of Kinver, Cannock, and Needwood, 
the subject treated of in these pages has always had for me a 
particular fascination. Accidentally meeting in early life with 
a copy of that very rare little work, Dryden's edition of L! Art 
de Venerie (1843), by William Twici, huntsman to Edward II., 
which is described in chapter vi., made me desire to know 


more about the subject. Thirty years later I had the good 
fortune to make the acquaintance of that rare old antiquary 
and sportsman, the late Sir Henry Dryden, Bart. Various 
discussions and correspondence on England's forest law and 
early hunting led to his desiring me to bring out a new and 
extended edition of his valuable little treatise. The project 
got deferred, but this book, in which his drawings of hunting 
costumes and hounds are reproduced, to some extent fulfils his 

No one is better aware of the deficiencies of these pages than 
the writer. It would have been easy enough to have found 
original material sufficient to fill a volume of this size for almost 
each of the forests named therein ; in some cases, such as the 
Peak Forest, Rockingham, and more especially Sherwood, it 
seemed almost sinful to be content with such brief summaries 
of a few of the more important facts. Nevertheless, it seemed 
best on the whole to condense the entire matter within the 
limits (kindly made more elastic in this case) assigned to the 
series of "Antiquary's Books." In doing this, certain sections 
that had been prepared on such subjects as the Clergy and 
Forest Pleas, Historic Trees, Place and Personal Names in 
Forest Districts, and a Glossary of Terms had to be abandoned. 
In the heartless work of cutting down, by more than one half, 
the material prepared for the press, as well as in other ways, 
I had the timely assistance of my son, Mr. Cuthbert Machell 

It might be well for the reader interested in any particular 
forest or shire to recollect that illustrations of any special topic 
treated of in the opening chapters are not, as a rule, repeated 
subsequently ; reference to the index will often supplement 
, information given under the chapter on a definite shire. It is 
hoped, too, that the index will serve as a glossary, as each 
forest term used is explained once or oftener in the text. 

The absence of any reference to the counties of Bedford, 
Cambridge, Cornwall, Hertford, Lincoln, Middlesex, Mon- 
mouth, Norfolk, and Suffolk, arises from the fact that there is 



practically no information with regard to any royal forests 
within their confines. 

If these pages arouse greater interest in the much neglected 
story of England's royal forests, it will be an abundant reward 
for no small amount of time and trouble expended on record 
searching and on general reading in the pursuit of a subject 
that was at one time so widely developed, and had so great an 
influence on our social and economic life. 


July, 1905 



FOREST," according to the last edition of the Encyclo- 
pcedia Britannica, " is a tract of country covered with 
trees, of one or several species, or with trees and 
underwood." This has become the popularly accepted mean- 
ing of the term for several generations, but it is historically 
false ; and so far as this volume is concerned, we have to go 
back to Manwood's definition as expressed in his Laives of 
the Forest (1598), wherein he describes a forest as "a certen 
territorie of wooddy grounds and fruitfull pastures, priviledged 
for wild beasts and foules of forrest, chase, and warren, to rest 
and abide in, in the safe protection of the king, for his princely 
delight and pleasure." 

But even Manwood, and others who have followed him, are 
not correct in assuming that the term originally, or of necessity, 
implied woody grounds or natural woodland. Dr. Wedgwood 
seems to be right in considering "forest" as a modified form 
of the Welsh gores, gorest, waste, waste ground ; whence the 
English word gorse, furze, the growth of waste land. Others 
consider its derivation to be from the Latin forts, out of doors, 
the unenclosed open land. From the fact that so many wastes 
were covered with wood or undergrowth, it gradually came 
about that the term "forest " was applied to a great wood. 

Perhaps the following definition is as accurate a one as can 


be given in a few words, of what used to be understood by 
the English term "forest" in Norman, Plantagenet, and early 
Tudor days. A forest was a portion of territory consisting of 
extensive waste lands, and including a certain amount of both 
woodland and pasture, circumscribed by defined metes and 
bounds, within which the right of hunting was reserved ex- 
clusively to the king, and which was subject to a special code 
of laws administered by local as well as central ministers. 

Had the true meaning of the old term "forest" been grasped, 
much waste of learning, and of vain strivings to prove that 
such barren tracts as by far the greater part of the forests of 
Dartmoor, of Exmoor, and of the High Peak, or even of the 
larger portion of the New Forest were wood-covered in historic 
times, might have been spared. 

A chase was, like a forest, unenclosed and only defined by 
metes and bounds, but could be held by a subject. Offences 
committed therein were, as a rule, punishable by the Common 
Law and not by forest jurisdiction, though swainmotes were 
sometimes held therein, proving that they had originally been 
royal forests. The terms "chase" and "forest" were occasion- 
ally used interchangeably, owing to a chase having been secured 
by the Crown, or the Crown having granted a royal forest to 
a subject. 

A park was an enclosure, fenced off by pales or a wall. In 
certain forests there were various parks, as in Dufifield Frith, 
and Needwood, and Sherwood ; and in most, at least one 
or two ; but many parks were held throughout the country 
by subjects under Crown licence, altogether apart from forests. 
Forest law prevailed in parks within a forest, but not in those 
outside such limits. An Elizabethan estimate, of doubtful 
value, states that the old royal forests were sixty-nine in 
number, and that there were in addition thirteen chases and 
more than seven hundred parks. 

The term "warren" also requires brief discussion. The public 
had a right to hunt wild animals in any unenclosed land 
outside forest limits, unless such right had been restricted by 
some special royal grant. The word "warren" the subject is 
ably treated by Mr. Turner (Forest Pleas, cxxiii.-cxxxiv.) was 
used to denote either the exclusive right of hunting and taking 
certain beasts (ferce natures} in a particular place, or the land 


over which such right existed. Grants of free-warren over 
demesne lands outside forests, so frequently made by our earlier 
kings both to religious foundations and to private individuals, 
prevented anyone entering on such lands to hunt or to take 
anything belonging to the warren without the owner's licence, 
under the great penalty of 10. No one might, therefore, 
follow the hunt of a hare or of a fox or other vermin into 
warrenable land ; but following the hunt of deer into such 
land was held to be no trespass, as deer were not beasts of the 
warren. Lords of warrens had the power of impounding the 
greyhounds or other dogs, and the nets and snares of tres- 

In the consideration of England's old forests, it is well to 
remember that subjects from time to time, in different shires, 
were seized of lands within forest bounds ; but, when that was 
the case, they were not allowed on such lands the right of 
hunting, or of cutting trees, or of high fence making, or of 
doing anything which could be interpreted as detrimental to 
the deer, save by special grant from the Crown. 

It has been pointed out by Mr. Turner that the history of 
English forests divides itself into three periods, namely, from 
the earliest times up to 1217, when the Charter of the Forest 
of Henry III. was granted ; from that date up to 1301, when 
large tracts were disafforested by Edward I. ; and thirdly, from 
1301 up to the present day. 

As to the story of the forests in the first of these periods, it 
must largely partake of the nature of conjecture based upon 
subsequent knowledge. 

As the Romans gradually made themselves masters of 
England, they must have destroyed much of the vast extent 
of woods that gave shelter to the British tribes. This work 
of destruction begun in the later prehistoric stage was 
accelerated by two other causes, apart from military reasons ; 
wooded districts were cleared in order to use the richer tracts 
for tillage and pasturage ; whilst the greater attention paid to 
iron and lead smelting led to a steady diminution in timber 
through the demands for fuel. 

The Saxons made further development of iron smelting 
works. This gradual clearance of the natural woods, coupled 
with enclosures of land round homesteads and settlements, 


drove back the deer and other game into the depths of the 
woods and the more desolate districts. 

These wilder tracts were used as common hunting grounds ; 
but in course of time the chieftains and more powerful local 
men usurped the rights hitherto exercised by all. Eventually, 
as the Saxon overlords or kings gained greater power, they 
claimed, as part of their royal prerogative, the right to reserve 
the' chase, or at all events the higher chase of the deer, in 
selected areas chosen for their nearness to favourite residences, 
or for the exceptional predominance of game. The royal 
hunting grounds (silva regis) as well as the king's lands or 
royal demesnes (terra regis) were gradually formed out of 
the original folkland held by the common people under their 
thegn ; so that when Egbert, in the ninth century, became the 
first king of all England, he found himself possessed of many 
royal hunting grounds in most parts of his kingdom. 

During the later Saxon and Danish period the chase became 
more and more restricted. The freeholder still had the right 
to kill the big game on his own land, but might not follow it 
into or upon the king's woods. The lesser game could, how- 
ever, be then followed even in the king's woods by the holder 
of the land, up to the time of the Conquest. 

In this, as in so many other respects, the mention of forests or 
woods in Domesday Survey is merely incidental. The name 
of swainmote, as applied to a minor forest court of local 
administration, which so long survived and was of such 
general use, is in itself sufficient to establish the fact that there 
was a pre-Norman customary forest law. The question as to the 
first introduction of a body of written forest law in this country 
depends largely upon the genuineness of the code usually 
attributed to Canute, and termed Constitutiones de Foresta. 
This Latin code, in thirty-four brief chapters, purports to have 
been drawn up by Canute both for the English and the Danes. 
Although its authenticity was long ago doubted by Coke, it 
has been quoted by many able writers, such as Palgrave and 
Kemble, without the expression of any doubt as to it being a 
genuine historic document ; but Professor Freeman and 
Bishop Stubbs subsequently adduced such weighty reasons for 
considering this code a forgery, or at all events containing so 
many interpolations as to be valueless, that present-day 




scholars are almost unanimous in rejecting it. The best 
defence of it is to be found in Mr. Fisher's Forest of Essex. 
On the whole, it seems probable that this Latin code has a 
certain value in showing the general drift and tendency of 
Anglo-Danish forest law; but that its worth has been vitiated 
by being dressed up at the hands of some Norman scribe, with 
the object of lessening the hostility to the severity of the forest 
laws introduced by the Conqueror. 

The Conqueror acquired, by right of conquest, not only the 
demesne lands of the Confessor and of the nobles who had 
opposed him, but also all the rights of the chase over great 
woodland or open stretches of both cultivated and unculti- 
vated ground, where royal hunting rights had previously 
been exercised by Saxon or Danish kings. With William 
and his immediate successors the chase was a passion, and 
hence a code of singularly harsh and burdensome "forest" 
laws soon came into operation. The Conqueror took advan- 
tage of the autocratic position secured to him and his followers 
by their military success, to carry out "afforestation" not 
only over the restricted areas that had been the hunting 
grounds of his predecessors on the throne, but over almost 
all the old folkland that remained unenclosed. The term 
"forest," that had been long in like use on parts of the 
Continent, was then introduced into England, and made to 
embrace vast districts, which included woodlands and wild 
wastes of moor, as well as patches of cultivated land. With- 
in these afforested tracts, he decreed that the right of hunt- 
ing was vested solely in the Crown, and could only be 
exercised by the king, or by those who were specially 
privileged under royal licence to share in it. The feudal 
idea about all wild animals, however monstrous and harsh 
in operation, possessed a rough logical basis. It was argued 
that all such animals were dona vacantia, or ownerless pro- 
perty, and hence pertained to the king ; that hunting was 
essentially the pastime or "game" of kings; and that there- 
fore the right of exercising the chase, or taking all kinds of 
beasts of venery, belonged solely to the king. 

The subsequent Norman kings added more or less largely 
to the "forest" districts of England, making even whole 
counties subject to this exceptional jurisdiction as, for instance, 


Essex and Surrey. The complaints of the hardships caused 
by this autocratic proceeding gradually gained strength. 
Certain disafforestations were made even by Henry II. ; but 
in 1215 John was compelled to agree, by one of the articles 
of Magna Charta, to the disafforesting of all the great tracts 
of country which had been made forest during his own reign. 

Soon after this, in 1217, the child-king Henry was made 
to issue the Charter of the Forest, in consideration of a grant 
of one-fifteenth of all movables of the whole kingdom. By 
this instrument it was provided that all forests, which 
Henry II. had afforested, should be viewed by good and 
lawful men ; and that all that had been made forest, other 
than his own royal demesne, was forthwith to be disafforested. 
In accordance with this charter special perambulations were 
ordered to be made before March, 1224-5, by twelve knights 
elected for the purpose. 

There is much confusion among both national and local 
historians as to the number and extent of England's forests 
at this period ; and certain of our State documents appear to 
be somewhat contradictory. Fortunately, however, a great 
gale, that affected almost the whole of England towards the 
close of the year 1222, was the incidental cause of furnishing 
the longest extant list, of an early date, of England's royal 
forests. The windfall was so considerable, that Henry III. 
issued orders to the forest officials not to interfere with any 
of the prostrate trees or broken branches until further orders, 
and at once to proceed to draw up a careful valuation of their 
worth. Letters to this effect were despatched to 

Viridariis et forestariis de feodo de foresta de Dene, Nova 
Foresta, Brikestok, Braden, Rokingham, Lye, Brehull 
(Bucks), Galteriz, Windlesore, inter Usam et Derewentem, 
Huntindonie, Shirewud, Rotelande, Clive (Northants), Brun- 
ningemor (Berks), Cumberland, Penber (Hants), comitatus 
Leicestrie, Clay (Salop), Lya (Salop), Melkesham and Chipe- 
ham, Get, Savernac (Wilts), Northumberland, Lancastria, 
Salopa, Kenefer, Canoe, Alrewas, Hopwas, Kenillewurth 
(haia et parco), Selewud, Nerechirch (Somerset), Graveling, 
Gillingeham, Pikering, Porcestre, Essexie, Wichewud, Axis- 
holt, Notingham, and Periton (parco). 

At the same time, like injunctions were forwarded to the 


keepers of each of these forests. On 3Oth January, 1223, the 
king instructed the sheriffs of all the counties containing 
forests to place the money accruing from the sale of the wind- 
fall in some religious house within their jurisdiction, there to 
await further orders, and to place with it a roll giving full 
particulars of the sales, drawn up by a specially appointed 
clerk named in the letters patent. 

The heading to these instructions on the Patent and Close 
Rolls of Henry III. is De Cableicio. The term cableicium, or 
cablicium signifies windfallen trees, and corresponds to the 
old French word chablis, which had a like meaning. It is 
quite clear that the term "cablish" (to use the English form), 
strictly speaking, implies uprooted trees, as distinct from 
mere branches. The forest officials, after the great gale, 
were ordered to remove nothing, nee de cableicio illo neque 
de branchura per impulsionem venti prostrata. Nevertheless, 
the word was occasionally given a wider meaning as, for 
instance, in 1223, when cableicium was applied to twelve 
great branches that had fallen in Windsor forest. But in 
this case the wood was sufficiently substantial to be reserved 
for the repair of the king's houses. Cablish seems never 
to have been applied to such windstrewn wood as would be 
used for fuel. We have met with the word in several forest 
rolls or records in Northamptonshire, Rutland, Hampshire, 
and Derbyshire as late as the time of Henry VII. ; though at 
that period the English word rote/alien, or rootefaler, was more 
usual as descriptive of the tree uprooted by the wind, and was 
used in distinction to the mere wyndfallen wood of smaller 

Other forests that occur in the Patent and Close Rolls of the 
earlier years of Henry III., which are not specifically named 
in the great storm order of 1222, are: Alnwick, Northumber- 
land; Easingwold and Wakefield, Yorks; Clipston and Silver- 
ston, Northants ; Acornbury and Kilpeck, Hereford ; Peak 
Forest and Horston, Derbyshire ; Alveston, Furches, Keyne- 
sham, and Horewood, Gloucester ; Feckenham, Worcester ; 
Cheddar and Selwood, Somerset ; Freemantle, Hants ; Buck- 
holt, Clarendon, Ifwood, Sugrave, and Weybridge, Wilts ; 
Poorstock, Dorset ; Finmere and Woodstock, Oxon ; and 
Havering, Essex. 


Edward I. in some cases broke the Forest Charter under 
legal quibbles ; but he did not, in general, desire that the 
boundaries of the forest as settled by his father, should be 
disturbed. Towards the end of his reign, however, strong 
political pressure induced him to consent to further dis- 
afforesting. The Forest Charter was confirmed in 1297, but 
further perambulations were undertaken between that date and 
1301, by which large reductions were made in the forest area. 

It would have caused general disturbance to the industries 
of the country, if the pursuit of special occupations pertaining 
to the soil had been prohibited within the very wide areas of 
the forests. Such industries were allowed to be followed under 
particular restrictions, and were worked, as a rule, for the profit 
of the crown. The most important of these was the question 
of iron smelting, particularly as the forges consumed so large 
an amount of wood or charcoal. Grants were made from the 
crown for permission to have itinerant forges. Such forges 
abounded in the Forest of Dean, and were also met with in the 
forests of Sussex, Duffield, Sherwood, Pickering, etc. 

Henry III., in 1231, granted this liberty (forgia itinerans) 
to Mabel de Cantilupe for life in Dean Forest. The grant 
states this was in accordance with a custom sanctioned by 
John and other of the king's royal ancestors. Another grant 
of the following year provided that the lady might have an 
oak on each of any fifteen days she chose, every year as long 
as she lived, for the support of this forge. 

The symbol of a man who was entitled to use an itinerant 
forge seems to have been a pair of bellows. This symbol is 
to be found on two early incised slabs in the church of 
Papplewick, Sherwood Forest. 

In some cases there were permanent forges of some size, 
belonging to the crown, within the forest bounds ; of this 
there were two instances in Duffield Frith. 

In the Helper ward of Duffield Frith there was considerable 
surface coal mining ; on Dartmoor and Exmoor there were 
particular regulations affecting the procuring of peat ; whilst 
in other forests the quarrying of stone for building purposes, 
for millstones and for tombstones, as well as the burning of 
lime and digging of marl were pursued, but in all cases with 
due regard for the non-disturbance of the deer. Such callings 




were confined to particular sites, as far as possible on the 
fringes of the forest. 

The following of trades that were obviously detrimental to 
the deer, through odour or otherwise, such as the tanning of 
hides, were rigorously prohibited within forest bounds. 

"Purlieu," strictly speaking, was all that ground near any 
forest which had originally been forest by perambulation of 
Henry II., Richard I., or John, but had been severed by the 
Forest Charter of Henry III. Round some forests the purlieus 
were of considerable extent. As a rule, the purlieu man had 
certain forest agistment and other rights, but of considerable 
less value than the actual forest tenant ; in return for this he 
was subject to a modified form of forest law, the chief of which 
was the non-disturbance of deer that he might find among his 
crops. The tenants on the outskirts of Galtres forest, Yorks, 
and of Duffield Frith, Derbyshire, were termed "bounderers"; 
they had certain privileges as well as obligations. 

The purlieu custom varied much in different districts and 
passed under various local terms. Such were the Wynlands, 
or Wydelands, of the Peak, and the Venville of Dartmoor. 
Cran borne Chase, which was nearly identical with a forest, 
had its well-defined Inbounds and Outbounds. The old name 
of Out-woods is not infrequently to be found in the vicinity of 
an old forest, as at Duffield, Clarendon, and Kinver ; its use 
denotes that the place so called was formerly within the forest 
purlieus. The forest of Clarendon had its Inlodges and Out- 


THE forest eyre was a court called into being by the 
king's letters patent, by which justices were appointed 
to hear and determine pleas of the forest throughout a 
particular county or groups of counties, or occasionally in the 
special area of a county or counties. A short time before 
the eyre was held, letters close were directed to the sheriff 
relative to its business. By these they were ordered to summon 
(i) all dignitaries and other free tenants who had lands or 
tenements within the metes of the forest ; (2) the reeve and 
four men from every township within the metes ; (3) all 
foresters and verderers, both those then in office and those 
(or their heirs) who had held such office since the last pleas 
of the forest; (4) all those persons who had been "attached" 
since the last pleas ; (5) all the regarders ; (6) and all the 
agisters. The sheriffs were at the same time directed to see 
that the foresters and verderers brought with them all their 
attachments or attachment rolls since the last pleas, and that 
the regarders brought with them their regards duly sealed, 
and the agisters their agistments. 

The proper interval between those forest eyres is supposed, 
from analogy of eyres for pleas of the Crown and common 
pleas, to have been seven years ; but in practice, to the great 
inconvenience of all concerned, considering the multiplicity 
of business, the intervals were usually much longer, and almost 
wholly capricious. For example, Derbyshire affords more 
than one instance of intervals exceeding thirty years ; whilst 
Pickering yields an instance of an interval of over fifty years, 
namely, from 1280-1334. 

Every three years a thorough inspection not only of the 
woods, but also of every part of the forest, was expected to be 



made ; this was termed the Regard. The duty of the twelve 
or more knights, who were called the Regarders, was to draw 
up answers to a long set of interrogatories termed the Chapter, 
which covered almost every possible particular as to the con- 
dition of the forest demesnes. But the most important function 
the regarders discharged was as to the assarts, or enclosures 
of waste with or without warrant, and to purprestures, or 
encroachments made by the building of houses or the like. 
In practice the full formal regard, with its complete roll of 
answers, was usually only made shortly before the holding 
of each eyre, when the sheriff was ordered by the Crown to 
see to the regard being duly performed. 

The amount of business that had to be transacted at these 
eyres was very considerable, and usually involved repeated 
adjournments. The work would have been still greater if 
it had not been that a large number of the delinquents 
were naturally dead before ever the court was held ; and 
that not a few of the former offenders, who had been re- 
leased on bail, had passed out of the jurisdiction of the sheriff, 
and could not be traced. The proceedings of the court were, 
roughly speaking, divided into two parts the pleas of vert 
and the pleas of venison. In both cases the chief object of 
the proceedings was the collection of fines and amercements 
for breaches of the forest laws, which contrary to the usual 
opinion had little, if any, trace of the old Norman severity. 
In fact, so far was this from being the case, that if a man was 
determined to poach venison, he met with far lighter punish- 
ment if the offence was committed in a royal forest, than if he 
was dealt with by the common or manorial law for a like 
offence in a private park. The first forest code (usually cited 
as the Assize of Woodstock) was extant in the time of 
Henry II. ; it records the severities of his grandfather, when 
cruel mutilation and capital punishment, irredeemable by any 
^ forfeiture, were among the ordinary penalties ; but all this dis- 
appeared in the thirteenth century. 

The presence of the reeve and four men from each township 
was strictly enforced ; and the fines for total absence, or absence 
at the opening of the court, of these and others who were 
summoned, were rigorously exacted. The consideration of the 
essoins, or excuses for non-attendance, was always the first 


business of the court. It was also usual for juries from the 
different hundreds to be summoned ; but their duty, as well 
as that of the men from the townships, seems to have been 
confined to attesting the truth of any statements affecting their 
districts which might appear on the rolls, and to being amerced 
for any particular neglect that might be brought to light. As 
to any jury proper, at these pleas, for the purpose of pronounc- 
ing a verdict on the delinquents, there is no trace ; such 
decisions were left entirely in the hands of the justices. 

By article nine of the Forest Charter, a man might be 
imprisoned for a year and a day ; but in practice, so far as the 
eyre was concerned, a fine seems to have been the invariable 
judgment of the justices. These fines were so apportioned 
to the position and means of the delinquents, that they could, 
as a rule, be readily paid ; and there are various instances 
in which, after being pronounced "in mercy," they were 
excused payment on the ground of poverty. The sheriff was 
ordered to arrest those who failed to appear, and sentence of 
outlawry was at last pronounced, after the due number of 
summons before the county court. The fines imposed on 
offending foresters, verderers, or other forest ministers were 
rightly of a much heavier character than those imposed on 
ordinary offenders. 

With regard to the venison pleas, the chief forester was ex- 
pected to answer for all manner of venison delivered by 
warrant or otherwise since the last eyre. Under these pleas 
also came all the presentments for illegal or supposed illegal 
venison trespass of every kind, including the receiving of 
venison illicitly killed, or the harbouring of known offenders. 

The vert pleas dealt with all the charges connected with 
damage to timber or underwood, its felling, carrying off, un- 
lawful sale, or misappropriation, as well as the grant of "fee" 
or gift trees. The question of vert is dealt with more in detail 
in the section on forest trees. 

In addition to the question of assarts and purprestures, 
another important matter always brought before the forest 
eyre was the list of claims or privileges by royal grant or 
charter, the majority of which were usually held by the 
religious houses. Each case had to be duly discussed and 
sanctioned, or refused, or curtailed, at each successive eyre. 


There was not a single forest wherein several monasteries 
had not particular privileges conferred in early days, and in 
some they were very numerous. Over the great stretch of 
Peak Forest, Derbyshire, the abbeys of Basingwerk, Beau- 
chief, Darley, Dernhall, Dieulacres, Leicester, Lilleshall, 
Merivale, Roche, and Welbeck, together with the priories of 
Kingsmead, Launde, and Lenton, all had rights. Such rights 
referred for the most part to the felling of timber necessary for 
their churches and buildings, or their farmsteads and fences, 
as well as to the collecting of undergrowth or dead wood for 
fuel. The agistment of cattle at certain seasons and the 
pannage of swine were granted from time to time ; whilst 
venison rights, more particularly in the shape of a tythe of 
the deer killed, pertained to some few religious houses. The 
tythe of the wild boars killed in Dean Forest went to the abbey 
of St. Peter's, Gloucester, and the tythe of the deer hunted in 
Pickering Lythe was the perquisite of the abbey of St. Mary's, 

In addition to the forest pleas proper, certain special inquisi- 
tions as to the condition of the forest and the charges against 
trespassers were held by the local officials, but under the 
particular justice of the forest or his deputy. Such inquisitions 
were probably caused, in the first instance, by the infrequency 
of the eyres. By a tiresome confusion, these courts of general 
inquisition in latter days are sometimes termed swainmotes, 
though they differed as much from the real swainmote as from 
the forest pleas. 

The swainmote of later times, about which Manwood is 
somewhat mistaken, as shown by Mr. Turner, was practically 
the same as the attachment court. The two terms, "swainmote" 
and "attachment" (and occasionally " woodmote "), are used 
interchangeably in later days in various local proceedings of 
the same forest, of which full records remain as, for instance, 
in Sherwood, Windsor, Clarendon, and Duffield Frith. At one 
and the same time in the fifteenth century, local courts of a like 
character were being held in the forests of Windsor and 
Northants under the style of swainmotes, in Lancashire and 
Sherwood as attachment courts, and in Staffordshire and 
Derbyshire as woodmotes. These courts of attachment, if 
regularly kept, as ordered by the Forest Charter, met every 


forty-two days in each of the several bailiwicks or wards into 
which a forest was divided, but on different days of the week. 
Thus, at Sherwood Forest these courts were held at Linby, 
Calverton, Mansfield, and Edwinstowe on Monday, Wednesday, 
Thursday, and Friday respectively in every sixth week ; though 
not infrequently they had to adjourn for lack of any business 
to transact. 

The true swainmote, according to Henry III.'s Charter, was 
only to be held three times a year, namely, fifteen days before 
Midsummer, when the agisters met to see to the observance 
of the fence month ; fifteen days before Michaelmas, when the 
agistment of the woods began ; and at Martinmas, when the 
agisters met to receive the pannage. But, as has been re- 
marked, the name swainmote (the court of the free-forest tenant 
of Saxon origin) became in later times a usual alias for the 
attachment court. 

The Attachment, or Forty-day Court, as it was sometimes 
termed, was so called because its object was to receive the 
attachment of the foresters or woodwards, and to enter them on 
the verderers' rolls. The legal term "attachment" (differing 
from "arrest," which only applied to the body) had a threefold 
operation in the forest as at common law ; a man might be 
attached by (i) his goods and chattels, or (2) by pledges and 
mainprize, or (3) by his body. The usual proceeding was that 
if the foresters found a man trespassing on the vert they might 
attach him by his body, and cause him to find two pledges (or 
bail) to appear at the next attachment court. On his appear- 
ance at that court he was mainprized (that is, set at liberty 
under bail) until the next eyre of the justices. If offending for 
a second time, four pledges were held necessary ; if a third 
time, eight pledges ; and for a fourth time, imprisonment until 
the eyre. 

If, however, a man was taken killing the deer or carrying 
them away which was called being taken with the manner, or 
mainour, an overt sign such as blood on the hands or clothes 
he could be attached at once by his body, and imprisoned 
until delivered on bail by the king, or the justice of the 
particular forest, to appear at the next eyre. 

Those who lived in the forest, and were taken in the king's 
demesnes cutting green wood or saplings, or even gathering 


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fr- P 1 i- ft-L. 

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dry wood from oaks, hazels, or other trees, could be amerced in 
the attachment court, unless the damage they had done was 
appraised at more than 4^., in which case the delinquent was 
to be attached to answer for his offence at the next eyre. 
Questions of the escape of cattle or sheep, and any breach of 
the particular agistment pannage regulations for the swine, 
were also dealt with by this court. When the trespasser was 
not a dweller in the forest, the forester or woodward, even in 
a vert case, was expected to attach his body and take him to 
prison (each forest had its own prison for forest offences), from 
which he could be released only by the order of the king, or the 
justice of the forest. In the matter of venison, these lesser 
courts had not originally any jurisdiction ; but in later times 
pledges were often taken for the appearance of such trespassers 
at the eyre. 

In addition to the general forest inquisition, there were also 
special inquisitions dealing with venison trespasses held under 
the bailiff of the forest in conjunction with the foresters and 
verderers. Several of these are extant of the thirteenth century. 
One of the most interesting rules of these special cases pro- 
vided that if any beast of the forest was found dead or wounded, 
an inquest was to be held by the four neighbouring townships 
of the forest. The finder of the deer was to obtain pledges for 
his subsequent appearance ; the flesh was to be sent to the 
nearest lazar-house, or given to the local sick and poor if there 
was not one within reasonable distance ; the head and skin 
were to be given to the freeman of the township where it was 
found ; and the arrow or other weapon to the verderer, who 
had to keep it for production at the next eyre. 

Inquests were also held by the four neighbouring townships 
in cases of definite forest trespass ; and the bows, arrows, or 
snares found upon a trespasser had to be delivered to the 
verderer for future production. Owing to such inquests being 
sometimes held at the same time as the gathering of a swain- 
mote, the rolls of these local courts, if carelessly consulted, 
appear to be dealing with venison trespass when such was not 
the case. 

It must be remembered that these forest inquisitions were 
only necessary when a beast of the forest was dead or wounded, 
or when an actual trespass had been committed in the forest. 

The forest pleas or eyres were usually held in the county 
town, but occasionally those summoned had to appear in 
another county. This was the case with the delinquents and 
officials of Duffield Frith ; that forest was in the honor of 
Tutbury, and the pleas were held at that Staffordshire town. 
Now and again a special booth or tent was erected to accommo- 
date the justices, as was the case in part of Rockingham forest 
in the sixteenth century. 

The swainmotes sometimes assembled in the open air, but 
far oftener in the respective lodges of the different wards, as in 
Needwood and Sherwood forests. Charges for the repairs of 
the lodges are of frequent occurrence in forest accounts. There 
was generally a central court-house or justice seat where special 
inquisitions were held, with accommodation if required for the 
keeper or chief forester, and with a chapel annexed, as in the 
New Forest and the Forest of the Peak. There is a Lancashire 
instance of a swainmote being held in a chapel. 



THE chief local authority over a forest was the keeper 
or warden, who was also variously known as a steward, 

bailiff, and chief or master forester. In no two forests 
were the terms for the various ministers 
exactly similar, and the nomenclature often 
varied for the same forest at different periods. 
Certain forests, such as those of Cheshire, 
were ruled by hereditary wardens or keepers ; 
but they were more usually appointed by the 
Crown, during pleasure, under letters patent. 
This office was often held in conjunction with 
that of keeper of the forest castle, as was the 
case with the Peak Forest. Writs relative to 
the administration of the forest business were 
addressed to this chief keeper, as well as 
orders for the delivery of venison or wood. 

For the most part he was expected to pre- 
side personally, or through his deputy or 
lieutenant, at the local courts. He had con- 
siderable perquisites and privileges, and was 
generally allowed to distribute a certain 
amount of venison to the county gentlemen 
of the district without direct warrant. 

The verderers were forest officers directly 
responsible to the Crown, although, like 
coroners, they were elected by the free-holders 
in the county court on writ addressed to the 
sheriff. The appointment was considered to 
be one for life ; but any verderer could be 
removed by the Crown for incapacity, or for 

C 17 


Bakewell, Derbyshire 


lack of due property qualification within the forest. The 
verderers were always men of some position, and frequently 
knights ; they had no salary, and perquisites of any kind 
were the exception. They varied in number ; in the smaller 
forests there were only two ; four seems to have been the 
average, but in Sherwood there were six. It was the verderer's 


Chelmorton, Derbyshire 


Wirksworth, Derbyshire 

duty to view, receive, and enroll all manner of attachments 
for vert or venison trespass ; and he had to attend all forest 
courts and take the leading part under the steward or keeper 
at the swainmotes. In the swainmotes, the verderers were the 
judges in all vert cases of the value of 2cl. or under ; this was 
afterwards raised to 4^. 

The verderer's symbol of office was an axe. In several 
forests, as in Duffield, there was a chief verderer, styled the 


axe-bearer, appointed directly by the Crown, and the recipient 
of certain perquisites. 

Foresters were officers sworn to preserve the vert and venison 
in their own divisions, or walks, or wards, which were some- 
times termed bailiwicks. They had to "attach" offenders, and 


Bakewell, Derbyshire 

} cnrt.ii 


Hope, Derbyshire 

present them at the forest courts. If they found any man in 
the forest with bows and arrows, snares or dogs, they might 
arrest and imprison him as if they had actually seen him hunt 
or kill the deer. They had to take special care of the deer 
during the fence or close month, i.e. the fortnight before and 
after Midsummer Day, when the fawns were usually dropped, 
and to provide them with deer-browse or tree-clippings in the 


winter. They might not hunt themselves, or even carry a bow, 
save under warrant or direct order of the keeper, or when 
training the young dogs according to custom. Foresters had 
always certain rights of pasturage and pannage, and usually 
one or two deer and one or two trees during the year. The 
working forester was generally also paid so much the day, 
always reckoning seven days to the week, as he was supposed 
to be ever on duty. 

The foresters of Clarendon, Wilts, eight in number, received 
2d. a day each, at the rate of 365 days to the year, includ- 
ing all Sundays and holy days. This rate of payment is 
mentioned in 1360, and it remained the same in 1483. Two- 
pence a day was also the usual wage of the Pickering foresters. 
Occasionally foresters were appointed by letters patent of the 
Crown ; this was the case with some of the Sherwood foresters, 
temp. Edward IV., who received 4^. a day, and were allowed 
to act by deputy. 

There was often a general or itinerant forester for the whole 
area, who had a higher rate of pay, and, as he was mounted, 
was frequently called the riding forester. Sometimes the 
Crown appointed several such foresters, as did Edward I. for 
Peak Forest at the beginning of his reign, calling them 
forestarii equitii. In the next century there is record of the 
Crown appointment of a chief forester for the same district at 
the very high wage of i2d. a day. Such an officer as this 
was, at a later period, known in various forests under the 
name of bow-bearer, from having the right always to carry 
a bow, personally or at the hands of his attendant. To this 
office special perquisites were usually attached, and eventually 
the duties were almost entirely honorary, save that he had to 
wait upon the king, and regulate the royal hunting, when he 
came to a particular forest. 

Strictly speaking, the symbol of a royal or chief forester 
was a bow, whereas that of the ordinary forester was a horn. 

In several of the larger forests, such as those of Lancashire, 
Cheshire, Dean, Sherwood, and Pickering, there were here- 
ditary foresters-of-fee. In the Peak Forest, when the question 
of their origin came up at forest pleas, they always claimed 
to date back to the days of William Peverel. There were 
originally four (though afterwards subdivided) for each of the 



three great bailiwicks of the Peak Forest, who held certain 
bovates of land in serjeanty, discharging their obligations in 
one case by hunting wolves, and in the others by some amount 
of forest supervision. In two of the three bailiwicks they had 
sworn servants or grooms under them. This kind of forester- 
ship could be held by women and by clerks, but the duties had 
then to be discharged by deputy. The foresters-of-fee were 

as Jiiiah vi 


Hope, Derbyshire 



Papplewick, Notts 

bound to attend all courts, even the frequent swainmotes of 
their bailiwick, in person or by authorised sworn deputy. 

There were usually special perquisites at the time of holding 
an eyre. Thus the justices in eyre in 1488 assigned to the 
forester of Windsor a beech and a small oak, and to the 
forester of the baily of Basilles an oak and a buck. 

In the earlier forest days, foresters appear to have been 
frequently quartered, in whole or in part, on the tenants within 


the bounds. Hence, long after definite wages had become 
customary, attempts were made to maintain these boarding 
arrangements. These wages in kind for themselves, their 
horses, and their dogs, were termed picture, or putre. A case 
occurs in the Year Book of Edward III. of a claim of this 
kind made by a forester of Inglewood against the abbot of 
St. Mary's, York. He claimed food and drink at the table of 
the abbot's servants on every Friday, together with the right 
to carry away, whenever he pleased, a flagon of the best ale, 
two tallow candles, a bushel of oats for his horse, and a loaf 
of black bread for his dog. 

Special provision was made against this levying of payment 
in kind by the foresters or their servants, in the Forest Charter 
of 1217. A statute of 25 Edward III. also strictly forbade 
4 'the gatheringe of vitailes nor other thing by colour of their 
office against anye man's wil within their bayliwick" by all 
forest ministers, but at the same time left a loophole for its 
continuance by exempting that which was "due of olde right." 
Future disputes were a special grievance in the Lancashire 
forests, where this charge on the tenants became commuted for 
a money payment. 

The drink money of the Dartmoor foresters went by the 
name of poutura in the thirteenth century. 

The position of the woodward of a forest, as distinguished 
from a forester, is often misunderstood. The woodward, 
though primarily responsible for the actual timber or under- 
wood, as the name implies, was also, as a rule, a forester 
that is, he was at the same time responsible for the venison. 
To understand their position, it must be remembered that all 
the lands within a king's forest were never entirely demesne. 
In every forest there were various woods which were private 
property ; but they were subject to general forest jurisdiction, 
such as the free ingress and egress of the king's game. Nor 
could the owners, without the king's licence, do anything 
therein, such as clearing away growing timber for cultivation, 
building houses or sheds, establishing forges, or burning char- 
coal, that might be held to do damage or cause annoyance 
to the deer. To look after their rights, such wood owners 
were allowed, nay, were required, to have officials termed wood- 
wards to guard the king's venison, and therefore they were 


not allowed to act save as sworn servants, taking oath to serve 
the king in the matter of venison, and having power to attach 
and present. 

The symbol of the woodward was a small hatchet or bill- 

In later forest days a kind of chief woodward was sometimes 
termed the axe-bearer ; and we find a " sealing axe " mentioned 

J-c W*// 





Papplewick, Notts 

in later forest accounts of Wiltshire, Worcestershire, and 
Yorkshire, which was used for blazoning timber intended to 
be felled. 

Agisters were the officers who were chiefly concerned with 
the collection of money for the agistment or feeding of cattle 
and pigs in the demesne woods or lands of the forest. Beasts 
of the plough (for the most part oxen, but occasionally an 
inferior breed of horse) were generally allowed such agistment 


under certain restrictions; and pigs, from nth September to 
nth November. But each forest had its own peculiarities. 
Horse-breeding establishments, or stud farms, were an early 
institution in Peak Forest ; whilst cattle were the predominating 
feature of Dartmoor. Sheep were usually specially restricted. 
Goats were at all times peculiarly disliked by deer, and very 
rarely permitted. As a rule, agisters were expected to report 
to the verderers, or direct to the swainmote, cases of illegal 
agistment, or of escapes of animals into the forest. 

Rangers were officials that are not heard of till towards the 
end of the fourteenth century ; their duties were originally 
confined to seeing that forest law was duly observed in the 
outlands or purlieus of the forest. Their office corresponded 
in some respects with that of the mounted forester. 

The regarders were responsible for the regard or survey of 
the forest, which has been already explained. Less than twelve 
could not make a certificate of their "view," so more than that 
number were generally appointed. When making their regard, 
they were to require the presence with them of the foresters 
and woodwards. The regarders, or some of them, were ex- 
pected to be present at every removing swainmote. 

Another class of officers, of which there are many in such 
forests as Duffield, were the parkers or keepers of the different 
parks. They not infrequently had under them palers, palesters, 
or palifers, who were permanently employed to maintain the 
pale fences of the parks. 


MANWOOD'S Treatise on the Forest Laws, the first 
edition of which appeared in 1598, has usually been 
accepted, without demur, as giving indisputable details 
about the forests of England. Mr. Turner has, however, 
rightly pointed out in his recent volume, Select Pleas of the 
Forest, that Manwood, writing at the end of the Elizabethan 
period, when forest law had for the most part decayed, is 
by no means altogether reliable, particularly in those parts 
that treat of what constituted beasts of the forest and beasts 
of the chase. In such particulars Manwood seems to have 
relied on foreign rather than English treatises on hunting, 
a fault in which he has been imitated by more than one modern 
writer, and also to have confused methods of hunting with 
forest legislation. 

Manwood declared that there were five beasts of the forest 
the hart, the hind, the hare, the wild boar, and the wolf ; but 
this in reality only makes four, for the hart and the hind are 
the male and female of the red deer. He then made a second 
division, termed the beasts of the chase, which included the 
buck and the doe (the male and female of the fallow deer), 
the fox, the martin, and the roe. The law, however, made no 
distinction of this kind between the red and fallow deer ; both 
of them were distinctly beasts of the forest, in any legal or 
customary significance of that term. 

The truth as to the English beasts of the forest, or king's 
game, all of which originally came under the head of venison, 
can only be ascertained by a study of the eyre rolls and other 
original forest proceedings. It then becomes clear that the 
forest beasts numbered four the red deer, the fallow deer, 
the roe, and the wild boar. 



The hare has no business to be found in such a list, save 
in the single warren of Somerton, within the bounds of the 
Somersetshire forest of that name. In no other place is the 
hare known to have been preserved by forest laws. 

Again, the inclusion by Manwood of the wolf among the 
beasts of the forest is absolutely without warrant. 

As to beasts of the chase, a term without any legal signifi- 
cance, it may be held to include, in addition to the deer, the 
wolf, the boar, the hare, the fox, and other vermin, such as the 
wild cat, martin, badger, otter, and even in some cases the 
squirrel. All that can be meant by this term is, that these 
animals were chased and hunted, though after very different 

In charters of warren, a term already briefly discussed, the 
hare was the principal beast. A decision of 1338 placed the 
roe among the beasts of the warren ; but it was not a decision 
of universal application. The fox, and more especially the 
coney or rabbit, were also regarded as beasts of the warren 
that is noxious beasts which were hunted or killed, but not 

As to fowls of warren, they certainly could not be held to be 
noxious. They included the pheasant, the partridge, and the 
woodcock, as well as, in certain cases, such birds as the plover, 
and even the lark, the capture of which was held to be a 
warren trespass. Mr. Turner considers that it is probable that 
all birds, taken by snares or hawks within a warren, were held 
to be fowls of the warren, and that their capture constituted 
a legal trespass. 

The one bird that has some claim to be considered a "fowl 
of the forest " is the swan. 

The RED DEER (cervus elap/ias), the largest of the British 
deer, was the chief beast of the forest, and remained so for 
a long period in all the wilder districts, such as Dartmoor, 
Exmoor, the Peak Forest, Sherwood, and the uplands of 

The FALLOW DEER (dama vulgaris), introduced at an early 
date into Britain, was more commonly sheltered in parks within 
forest bounds. In a few cases both red and fallow deer were 
found in the same forest outside parks ; whilst other forests 
only sheltered one species. Thus in Derbyshire, down to the 

O " 



time of their disafforestation in the seventeenth century, only 
red deer were found in the Peak Forest, and only fallow deer in 
Duffield Frith. In the fifteenth century, the fallow deer were far 
the most numerous in the forests of Essex, Northampton, 
Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Dorset ; the proportions at later 
dates are given in a subsequent section. 

The different names applied to both these species at different 
ages of their growth are not a little confusing, and vary some- 
what from forest to forest. The following table of terms, 
denoting the age and sex of the red and fallow deer respec- 
tively, somewhat altered from a table given by Mr. Turton 
in his account of Pickering forest, will be found useful : 










hind calf 



vitulus cervi 

vitulus bisse 




brocket or 

hyrsel or 
hyrsula or 






spardus or 
sorellus cer-vi 

staggartus or 

bissa or cerva 


soar, sore 



sourus cervi 



damns or 
dania m. 

great buck 


great hart 


" Feton " (feta) is the term frequently used to signify a fawn, 
usually of the red deer, in the earlier forest pleas and accounts. 
It occurs several times in forest proceedings of the High Peak. 
The author of the Feudal History of Derbyshire makes the 
amusing mistake of reading it .reton, and expends much 
learning on the derivation of such a term ! 

The term raskall or raskell occurs in various later forest 
accounts. It usually means deer out of condition, fit neither 
to hunt nor kill ; but is occasionally used (as in Rutland 
accounts) to denote female deer. 

"Murrain" was the generic term in mediaeval England, for 
almost every form of disease that affected cattle as well as 
deer. From the records that are extant in various forest 
proceedings of the deaths of deer from murrain, it is clear 
that sometimes this term was used to denote a severe form 
of infectious illness that caused great ravages among the 
herds ; whilst at other times, when only two or three die in the 
year from murrain, it would seem to be of the nature of some 
ordinary ailment. As a rule, the foresters were expected to 
hang up on the trees of the forest the carcases of those deer 
that had died of the murrain, and always to keep a strict record 
of those that thus perished. On several occasions there are 
instances of foresters being presented and fined, for skinning 
and taking the hides of those that had died of disease. 

At a later period, as in Duffield Frith, the foresters were 
ordered to take the more sanitary course of burning the car- 
cases. From a manuscript book, dealing with the perambula- 
tions and pleas of Sherwood, in the reigns of Henry III.- 
Edward III., it appears that the vast number of 350 head of 
deer (both red and fallow) had fallen victims to the murrain in 
the year 1286. 

The full records of the Pickering eyre of 1334 give details as 
to the deer and murrain during each successive keepership 
since the last eyre in 1280. During the keepership of Richard 
Skelton upwards of 500 died of murrain. The murrain was 
severe in the forest of Rockingham during the reigns of 
Henry VI., Edward IV., and Richard III., particularly in 
certain years; 1,400 head of game died of disease during the 
whole period. In the first five years of Henry VII. the deaths 
from murrain amounted to 282. In the first year of Henry VII., 


80 fallow deer died of murrain in the Wiltshire forests of 
Melksham and Pewsham, namely, 27 bucks, 33 does, and 
20 fawns ; but in the second year of his reign the far greater 
number of 340 perished, and in the third year 140. In 1489, 
and again in 1493, an unusual number of both red and fallow 
deer were found " dede of murrayn in Epping forest." The 
most appalling case is that of Clarendon forest, in 1470, when 
2,209 died of murrain in the one year. 

The ROE DEER were the most graceful and the smallest of 
British cervidce, a fully grown buck only standing twenty-six 
inches high at the shoulder. It must have been quite common 
at all events in the south of England in early days, as is 
proved by the scientific series of explorations carried out by the 
late General Pitt-Rivers in the Romano-British villages round 
Rushmore, Wilts. The roe or roebuck is mentioned in forest 
proceedings under the interchangeable terms of capriolus or 
cheverellus, the latter being Latinised from the French chevreuil. 
A roe killed in 1251 in Rockingham forest is entered, as Mr. 
Turner points out, as cheverellus in the forest inquisition, and 
as capriolus in the corresponding eyre roll. The writer of the 
Feudal History of Derbyshire has made nonsense of the 
various forest presentments for the killing of roebucks in the 
Peak, by translating capriolus "wild-goat." The killing of 
a wild-goat in this forest would have been a work of merit, and 
certainly not deserving presentment. 

In the full records of the Derbyshire eyre for the Peak of 
1251, the killing of a roebuck is presented, and at the next 
eyre, 1286, five such cases are recorded. These Derbyshire 
instances help to clear up a matter of some importance in the 
history of England's forests. In the thirteenth century there 
is no doubt that there were in general four, and only four, 
beasts of the forest ; these were the red deer, the fallow deer, 
the roe deer, and the wild boar. In a charter of 1212, King 
John granted to the monks of Lenton the tithe of all his 
venison taken in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The word 
" venison " (venacio} was applied in mediaeval days to the beasts 
of the forest, and is in this case defined as the red deer, fallow 
deer, and wild boar. From this it has been supposed that the 
roe was not considered as a beast of the forest in all counties. 
Mr. Turner, in his valuable work on Forest Pleas, commenting 


on this, says : " It is unfortunate that no documents still 
exist which relate to the forests in Nottingham and Derby in 
the reign of Henry III. or his predecessors," and adds that 
a roe occurs in the Nottingham forest eyre of 15 Edw. I., 
but that as this is a single case, the great rarity of the roe in 
these counties may be inferred. The instances here adduced 
show that this is a mistake. 

At the eyre for Pickering forest, Yorks, in 1338, the 
question as to whether the roe was a true beast of the forest 
arose, and the justices in eyre referred the question to the court 
of King's Bench, when it was decided (contrary to previous 
decisions) that it was a beast of the warren, for the curious 
reason that it put to flight other deer. It has been supposed 
that from that date the roe ceased to be a beast of the forest 
throughout England. But that decision was either not gene- 
rally known, or applied only to the peculiar case relative to the 
manor of Seamer. In 1398 a case was presented at a swain- 
mote held at Tideswell, Derbyshire, of a venison trespasser 
killing a roebuck and a fallow doe. As late as 7 Henry VII. a 
charge of taking a roe deer in a snare in Clarendon forest was 
preferred against an offender, at the eyre held at Salisbury. 

There are many interesting particulars relative to the roe 
deer in the records of Pickering forest. Edward II., in 1322, 
paid the large sum of $ for cord to make nets to catch roe- 
buck. This expenditure on cord would not be for the purpose 
of making small snares, but to aid in the construction of a 
buckstall into which the deer would be driven. Henry, Lord 
Percy, claimed, in 1338, to hunt and take fox, roe deer, cat, 
and badger on his manor of Seamer, although within the 
forest. The jury found that Lord Percy and all his ancestors 
had hunted and taken roe deer, but that that animal was a 
beast of the forest, for which offence poachers had been con- 
victed and fined at the last eyre. The justices referred this 
point to the judgment of King's Bench, with the result already 

The few cases of venison trespass that are extant with regard 
to the forest of Exmoor, prove that it possessed both red deer 
and roebuck. Presentments for killing roe deer are also extant 
in the case of the Forest of Dean and several others. 

The WILD BOAR. The wild boar is one of the oldest and 


y& "C^*^ ^N/W '-;>' i 
TrvvV? * ^ S 4* .*i 




most renowned of the animals of the British forests. It appears 
on ancient British coinage, on various works of art of the later 
Celtic period, on Romano-British altars, and with frequency 
on Norman ecclesiastical sculpture. The chroniclers tell us 
that boar-hunting was a favourite sport of Henry I. Pickering 
forest had great repute for its wild boars at the beginning of the 
thirteenth century. King John, in 1214, ordered the constable 
of the castle on two occasions to render assistance to the royal 
huntsman, who was coming with his hounds to kill wild boar in 
that forest. The boars were to be sought in that part of the 
forest where the king was wont to hunt them. The constable 
was to see that the meat was well salted, and the heads soaked 
in wine and dispatched to the king. In 1227, Henry dis- 
patched his huntsman to Pickering to take twelve wild swine 
for the royal use. 

King John's anxiety about the preservation of this beast of 
the forest lasted to the end of his life. In September, 1216, he 
wrote to the constable of St. Briavel ordering that the cattle were 
only to be agisted on the fringes of Dean forest, and not in 
the forest itself, and particularly not in those places frequented 
by the wild boars. In a list of game taken for Edmund, 
Edward I.'s brother, in 1279, in Dean forest, under letters 
patent, mention is made of one wild boar. 

Thomas de Langley, master forester of Wychwood, Oxon., in 
1217, received the royal command to allow William de Brewere 
to take wild boars (porcos silvestres] in that forest ; and in 
1223, the same forester was instructed to take two wild boars 
and transfer them to the royal park of Havering, which was 
part of Waltham forest. 

There are several records of wild boar hunting in Clarendon 
and other Wiltshire forests in the fourteenth century. 

The boar or wild pig roamed through Cranborne Chase as 
late as the days of Elizabeth. Hutchins cites two fifteenth- 
century cases noted in the presentments of this chase. Robert 
TDlare, in 33 Henry VI., was ordered to be distrained for 
killing four wild pigs on Iwerne Hill. Thomas Robe, vicar of 
Iwerne, was attached in the following year for killing four 
wild pigs in Iwerne Wood with his bow and arrow. 

As forests lessened in extent, the wild boar diminished in 
numbers ; but their survival in Lancashire, Durham, and 


Staffordshire, in the sixteenth century, can be readily estab- 
lished. James I. hunted the boar in Windsor forest in 1617. 
Charles II. 's reign is the latest time at which this animal is 
known to have survived in England in a really wild state. 

The WOLF. The abundance of wolves throughout England 
in pre-Norman days is borne witness to by the Saxon name for 
January, namely, the wolf-month. There was probably no 
part of England where the wolves had surer or more pro- 
longed retreats than amid the wilds of the Peak Forest and its 
borders. The last places in this country where they tarried 
were the Peak, the Lancashire forests of Blackburnshire and 
Rowland, and the wolds of Yorkshire. It has been confidently 
asserted (Elaine's Encyclopedia of Rural Sports [1858] p. 105) 
that entries of payment for the destruction of wolves appear in 
the account books of certain parishes of the East Riding, pre- 
sumably of sixteenth or seventeenth century date ; but this on 
examination proves to be an error. They were abundant in 
Dean forest in the time of Edward I., and tenures of land 
in the forests of Rockingham and Sherwood, on the service of 
wolf-hunting, were renewed in the fifteenth century. The best 
authorities (such as Harting and Lydekker) consider that 
wolves did not die out in England until the time of Henry VII., 
1485-1509. The last wolf was killed in Scotland in 1743. 
Packs of Irish wolves were not exterminated until 1710, and 
the last solitary survivor was killed in 1770. Place and field 
names afford remarkably abundant evidence of the considerable 
presence of wolves in North Derbyshire. Woolow (formerly 
spelt Wolflow), Wolfhope, and Wolfscote are well-known ex- 
amples. Wolfscote Dale, though the term is not often used, 
is still the map-name for the upper stretch of Dovedale, and 
Wolfscote Grange and Wolfscote Hill are close to the forest 
border. On the opposite side of the Dove, in Staffordshire, is 
the ridge termed Wolfedge. The village boys of Hartington 
and Beresford Dale used to play at wolves and wolf-hunting in 
the "forties" of last century, apparently a traditionary game, 
as stated by the late Mr. Beresford Hope. Five cases of wolf 
in the field-names of enclosures within the bounds of the old 
forest have been found, whilst Wolfpit occurs as a boundary of 
Priestcliffe Common, and Wolfstone of Chinley Common in 
enclosure commissions, temp. Charles I. 





A careful examination of forest and other records relative to 
Derbyshire has brought to light various wolf references, most 
of which are now cited for the first time. Among the 
evidences at St. Mary's College, Spink Hill, is a charter of 
Robert Ferrers, Earl of Derby (who died in 1139), granting 
lands at Heage, which he held from the king on the service 
of driving the wolves out of his lordship of Belper, within 
Duffield Chase, which afterwards became a royal forest. 

Two payments entered in the Pipe Rolls of Henry II. are 
highly significant of the devastation then caused by Derby- 
shire wolves. In 1160-1, 25^. was paid to the forest wolf- 
hunters (in lupariis} as an extra fee. In 1167-8, so great a 
value was set on the skill and experience of the Peak wolf- 
trappers (pedicatores), that Henry II. paid los. for the travel- 
ling expenses of two of them to cross the seas to take wolves in 

The accounts of Gervase de Bernake, bailiff of the Peak for 
1255-6 are of special value, as they contain some of the very 
few specific entries that have yet been found among the stores 
of the Public Record Office of damage done to stock by wolves. 
Mention is made therein of a colt (pullum masculuni) strangled 
by a wolf in Edale (jugulat* cum lupo in Eydale) ; and in another 
place, in a list of waifs that accrued to the lord, there is reference 
to two sheep which were also strangled by wolves. There 
is another thirteenth-century reference to Derbyshire forest 
wolves which seems to have escaped the notice of county and 
other writers. The Hundred Rolls of the beginning of 
Edward I.'s reign record that Roger Savage was asked by 
what right he maintained dogs to take foxes, hares, wild cats, 
and wolves, and replied that he was the successor of William 
Walkelin, who had a royal grant to that effect. 

At the pleas of the forest held at Derby in 1285, it was shown 
that a bovate of land held by John le Wolfhunte and Thomas 
Foljambe, two of the foresters-of-fee, was a serjeanty assigned 
for taking of wolves, in Peak Forest. On the jurors being 
asked what were the duties pertaining to that service, the 
following was the highly interesting reply : 

" Each year, in March and September, they ought to go through 
the midst of the forest to set traps to take the wolves in the places 
where they had been found by the hounds ; and if the scent was not 


good because of the upturned earth, then they should go at other 
times in the summer (as on St. Barnabas Day, June nth), when the 
wolves had whelps (catulos) to take and destroy them, but at no 
other times ; and they might take with them a sworn servant to carry 
the traps (ingenid) ; they were to carry a bill-hook and spear, and 
hunting-knife at their belt, but neither bows nor arrows ; and they 
were to have with them an unlawed mastiff trained to the work. All 
this they were to do at their own charges, but they had no other 
duties to discharge in the forest." 

In the records of Cannock forest, Staffordshire, for 1281, 
there is an entry of a wolf having killed a fat buck ; the flesh 
was given to the lepers of Freford. 

The Fox was always held to be noxious in England, and no 
penalty was attached to its destruction. Nevertheless, it was 
a breach of law to hunt them within a royal forest, save by 
special licence; the obvious reasons being that such hunting, 
if unrestricted, would disturb the king's game, and prove an 
irresistible temptation to poaching with not a few. 

William Rufus licensed the abbot of Chertsey to hunt the 
fox in the Surrey side of Windsor forest. 

Richard I. and Henry III. granted licence to the abbot of 
Waltham to hunt the fox in the Essex forest. 

King John, in 1204, gave the abbot of St. Mary's, York, 
liberty to hunt the fox freely throughout all the royal forests of 
Yorkshire. The abbess of Barking had like rights in the 
forest adjoining her house. It need not be supposed that these 
religious superiors were expected by these licences to hunt 
personally though occasionally an irregular abbot might thus 
indulge the licence applied to their duly commissioned 

Licence was granted in 1279 to Adam Attewell, and those 
whom he took with him, to take foxes throughout the forest of 
Salop, by traps and other means, and to carry them away. 

Everyone of England's forests had one or more of the 
neighbouring landowners holding charters authorising the 
pursuit of the fox with hounds, save in the fence month ; most 
of these charters dated from the thirteenth and some from the 
twelfth century. In the large majority of cases, the hunting of 
the hare was associated with that of the fox. The burgesses 
of Nottingham had a chartered right to pursue the fox and hare 


in Sherwood forest, and this right was held to warrant certain 
burgesses keeping greyhounds at an eyre of 1538. 

Thomas Bret, the vicar of Scalby, in Pickering forest, and 
four others, were each fined 6d., in 1336, for making folds of 
small thorns a vert offence in Scalby Hay to guard their 
sheep from the fox. 

In Turbervile's Noble Art of Venerie or Hunting (1575), the 
hunting of the fox and badger are described together. Both 
were hunted, or rather drawn, by terriers. He remarks : 

" As touching- foxes, I account small pastime of hunting of them, 
especially within the ground ; for as soone as they perceyve the 
terryers, if they yearne hard and gx>e neare unto them, they will 
bolte and come out streyghtwaies, unlesse it be when the bitch hathe 
yong cubbes : then they will not forsake their yong ones though they 
die for it." 

When the fox was hunted ''above grounde," after the earth 
had been stopped, the hounds of the chase thus employed are 
described as greyhounds, showing that the fox was usually 
coursed by sight, and not followed by scent. 

The HARE was the principal beast of the warren. The large 
majority of chartered rights for the hunting of the fox within 
forests included the hare. The forest pleas of Somerset, in 
1287, show a most remarkable exception as to the beasts of the 
forest in the case of the warren of Somerton, within whose 
bound the king preserved the hare, and inquests were actually 
held on those found dead. 

At the eyre held at Rockingham in 1285, certain men were 
presented for setting nets for hares in Brigstock park. 

A curious entry in the Close Rolls of 1276 mentions that the 
keeper of Bernwood forest was ordered to supply Sir Francis 
de Bononia (a famous secretary of Edward I.), with several 
young bucks and does, and also four live hares and six live 
rabbits, to be placed in the king's garden at Oxford. 

At an eyre held at Sherborne in 1288, the jury protested 
against the freemen of Cranborne Chase being deprived of 
their dogs, wherewith they had a right to hunt the hare and 
the fox. 

The Coucher Book of the Duchy of Lancaster contains a 
great variety of presentments for hare hunting and hare taking, 


particularly in the forest of Pickering, temp. Edward III. 
Robert Hampton, rector of Middleton, presented at the eyre 
for keeping four greyhounds and hunting hares at will, made 
no appearance and was outlawed. Matilda de Bruys was pre- 
sented as accustomed to hunt and catch hares ; she appeared, 
was fined 5.?., and found sureties for good behaviour. Peter de 
Manlay, jun., a man of considerable position, was fined .1 
for hare hunting, and Sir Nicholas de Menill ,\ 6s. 8d. 
Others were fined for hare hunting, or hare killing with bow 
and arrows, from 13.?. 4^. to is. according to their position. 
How such charges came before the eyre as contrary to the 
forest assize, becomes clear from the nature of the charge in 
several of the cases ; the delinquents are described as catching 
hares in various ways " to the terror of the deer." 

The WILD CAT was usually associated with the fox and hare 
in chartered rights for forest hunting ; we have found it thus 
included in forest claims of Pickering, Windsor, Sussex, 
Cheshire, and Sherwood. 

The wild cat is named by Turbervile, in 1575, as vermin which 
used to be commonly hunted in England. At that time they 
were not hunted designedly, but if a hound chanced to cross 
a wild cat he would hunt it as soon as any chase ''and they 
make a noble trye for the time that they stand up. At last, 
when they may no more, they will take a tre, and therein seek 
to beguile the hounds. But if the hounds hold into them, and 
will not so give it over, then they leap from one tree to another, 
and make great shift for their lives, with no less pastime to the 
huntsmen." The wild cat is now extinct in England ; it is 
supposed that the last one was shot by Lord Ravensworth in 
1853, at Eslington, Northumberland. 

The MARTIN is mentioned in two or .three of the forest 
hunting grants. Thus, Richard Dove, chief forester of Mara 
and Moudrem, established, at an eyre held at Chester in 1271, 
his claim to the hunting of foxes, hares, cats, martins, and 
other vermin with hounds or greyhounds. 

The BADGER is also included in certain grants for forest 
hunting. This animal is expressly named in Henry III.'s 
grant in 1252 to Walter Baskerville in the forests of Hereford, 
Gloucester, Oxford, and Essex; in the 1253 grant to Roger 
Hardy, burgess of Scarborough, throughout the whole forest 


of Pickering ; in the 1253 grant to John of Lexington, in 
Essex ; in two other grants in parts of Pickering forest ; and 
in the 1297 grant to Thomas Paynel, in the Sussex forest of 

The OTTER obtains mention in a few forest proceedings and 
accounts. In the Peak Forest there are three or four instances 
of presentments for killing it with hounds; probably on the 
ground of disturbing the deer by such an action. Edward 
IV. had a pack of otter-hounds, which, like the packs of 
harriers and buck-hounds, was composed partly of running 
and partly of scent hounds. 

The SQUIRREL even was named in some of these licences. It 
was included in the first-named grant of 1253 to John of 
Lexington ; whilst the hunting hare, fox, squirrel, and cat 
throughout Sherwood forest formed part of the extensive 
privileges pertaining to Robert de Everingham, who was 
removed from his office of hereditary keeper or chief forester 
in 1289. 

The RABBIT or Coney has already been mentioned in con- 
nection with warrens. The free chase and warren of Ashdown, 
Sussex, were held by Edward I.'s mother; in 1283 proceed- 
ings were taken against various persons for hunting and 
carrying of rabbits from her park at Mansfield. A raid made 
on St. Leonards forest, in 1295, included rabbits amongst the 

The office of parker of Blagden, in Cranborne Chase, carried 
with it "the ferme of the cunnyes." 

The rabbit warrens within the forest of Clarendon were of 
exceptional value, and are frequently mentioned in the 
accounts. In the time of Edward III. they were the perquisite 
of the chief keeper. In 1495, 100 received from the 
" Fermour of the Conyes in Clarendon," formed an item of the 
revenue assigned for the king's household. In the time of 
Charles I. these warrens were worth upwards of 200 a year. 

SWANS. It was the duty of the chief minister of each ward 
of Duffield Frith to secure the king's swans, and all waif and 
stray swans on the various rivers and streams within the 
forest limits. That there used to be many swans on the 
Derwent, in Duffield forest, is proved by the name Hopping 
Mill, or Hopping Weir, at Milford. Hopping, or upping, was 


the term for the annual marking of the swans. Swainsley, on 
the margin of the river near Hopping Mill, is a corruption of 
Swansley. In some forests, such as Windsor and Clarendon, 
swan warding was an important part of the forester's duty. 
In the latter forest a large number of swans were kept on the 
river. In Edward III. reign these royal birds were stolen on 
several occasions. In June, 1327, the prior of Ivy Church 
and another were commissioned to inquire and search for 
certain swans which were said to have been conveyed to divers 
places on the Avon, between Salisbury and Christchurch. 
Further commissions were issued to recover stolen swans in 
1331 and in 1345 ; on the latter occasion the stolen birds were 
said to be worth the great sum of ^100. 

EYRIES of hawks and falcons formed the subject of the second 
inquiry named in the chapter of the Regard, drawn up in 1229. 
In the long list of perquisites pertaining to the office of chief 
forester of Mara and Moudrem, claimed at the 1271 eyre held 
at Chester, is the right to all sparrow hawks, merlins, and 

Sir John de Meaux paid to the Earl of Lancaster for his 
woods of Levisham, in Pickering forest, 2s. annual rent, and 
eyries of falcons, merlins, and sparrow hawks. Thomas Wake, 
in his barony of Middleton, in the same forest, claimed to have 
eyries of sparrow hawks and merlins in his woods. 

When the regarders assembled in Sherwood forest in 1309, 
the foresters swore to lead the twelve knights to view, inter alia, 
the eyries of hawks and falcons. 

Falcons and falconers are named several times in the 
fourteenth century in connection with Rockingham forest. 

PARTRIDGES and PHEASANTS have been already named under 
warrens. In 1336 two offenders were fined for catching par- 
tridges in Pickering forest ; the one delinquent had to pay 3^. 
4^., and the other 6d. The amounts were in all probability 
settled in accordance with their social position. 

Part of the privileges granted in the forest to the abbey of 
Chertsey, by Henry II., was the liberty of taking pheasants. 
Among the offences dealt with at the eyre held at Guildford in 
1488, for the Surrey portion of Windsor forest, was the fining 
of Ralph Bygley in the heavy sum of icw. for being a common 
destroyer of pheasants and partridges, and a taker of birds. 


Another offender at the same eyre was presented for killing six 
pheasants with a hawk. 

Pheasants are mentioned in a raid on St. Leonards forest, 
Sussex, in 1295. 

HERONS. There are several incidental notices of herons and 
heronries among the forest proceedings. In the raid that 
was made in 1295 on the forest, or rather the chase of St. 
Leonards, Sussex, herons formed part of the booty that was 
unlawfully removed. In 1334 Sir Walter de London, the 
king's almoner, received the tithe of 157 herons that had been 
killed in Pickering forest. Mention is also made of herons 
sent up to London, out of Clarendon forest, for the king's 
table, on several occasions in the fourteenth century. 

WOODCOCKS. The accounts of Duffield forest for 1313-14 
make mention, under the ward of Hulland, of 4^. 6d. for " ix 
cokschutes." A cockshut was a large net suspended between 
two poles, employed to catch or shut in woodcocks ; it was 
used chiefly in the twilight. At the southern extremity of this 
ward is a farm still known as Cockshut. The same place-name 
survives on the sites of several of our old forests ; and licences 
to use cockshuts were granted at swainmotes in Derbyshire, 
Hampshire, and Wiltshire. Reference to woodcocks will also 
be found under Galtres forest. 

General licences for fowling in specific parts of a forest were 
sometimes granted in the local courts. On several occasions 
bird fowlers were attached at fourteenth and fifteenth century 
swainmotes in Duffield Frith, Clarendon forest, etc. ; and a few 
examples of presentments at eyres for a like general offence 
are also extant. Thus, at Pickering, in 1334, Henry the 
Fowler of Barugh, Adam the Fowler of Ayton, and two others, 
were summoned and fined for catching birds in the forest by 
means of nets, birdlime, and other devices. The general dis- 
turbance of the deer would doubtless cause such action to be 
considered a breach of the assize of the forest. 

BEES and HONEY. The fifth chapter of the Regard, issued 
in 1229, related to the king's right to the honey in the royal 
demesne woods of the forests. At the Chester eyre of 1271, 
the hereditary chief forester of Mara and Moudrem claimed all 
swarms of bees as part of his extensive perquisites. 

At an attachment court of the Lancashire forests of Quern- 


more and Wyersdale, in 1299, several men were presented for 
taking a byke or nest of wild bees, and carrying the honey to 
the house of Ralph de Caton, where it was found, and also for 
burning the oak tree containing the comb ; the tree was valued 
at Afd. and the honey at 6d. 

A long roll of amercements, imposed at an eyre for Sherwood 
forest, held at Nottingham in 1334, includes a fine of i2d., in 
addition to 6d. the value of the honey, on two men, for carrying 
honey from out of the forest. 

Particular indictments of the Pickering eyre of 1335 included 
the taking, by one Gilbert Ayton, of a gallon of honey and two 
pounds of wax out of old tree trunks. Gilbert appeared by 
attorney, and said that, by the great Charter of the Forest, it 
was provided that every freeman might have the honey found 
in his own woods. The indictment itself stated that he found 
the honey in his own woods of Hutton Bushell and Troutsdale, 
and therefore he asked for judgment in his favour, and ob- 
tained it. 

The fifteenth-century directions to the ''collectors" of the 
different wards of Duffield Frith instructed them to take for 
the king all bykes of bees. 

The ancient right of the Crown to forest honey may be 
traced in the claim of the lords of the manor of Wanstead, 
Essex, in 1489, to the profits of bees, honey, and wax in 
Wanstead wood. One of the items in the charge at the 
Epping swainmote of later days was : " If any man do take 
out of the hollow trees any honie, wax, or swarmes of bees 
within the forest, yee shall do us to weet." The lord of the 
manor of Minestead, in the New Forest, claimed the honey in 
his woods as late as 1852. 


A^ART from the beasts of the forest and chase, or the wild 
animals, every forest district had its quota of domestic 
animals, feeding regularly or occasionally within its 
bounds. These were subject to the strict oversight and direc- 
tion of the agisters, whose office has already been explained. 
In almost every case, these animals were the property of the 
tenants of the forest or its purlieus. Dartmoor was a remark- 
able exception to this rule, inasmuch as almost every parish 
in Devonshire had certain rights of pasturage if it chose to 
exercise them. 

All forests were liable to have agistment and pannage sus- 
pended altogether or in parts, for a certain year or more, if 
the circumstances of the case seemed to need it. Particular 
mention of this is made in a charter of Henry III. to the 
priory of Ivy Church in Clarendon forest 

In several forests, notably Essex, there was also a regular 
winter interval, though variable in duration, when all agist- 
ment was prohibited, for the purpose of reserving the food for 
the deer ; this was called Winter Heyning. Mention is made 
subsequently of the fence month. 

SWINE and PANNAGE. Swine were usually only allowed in 
forests during the season called the time of pannage, when 
they fed upon the acorns and beech mast which had then fallen. 
The mast season lasted from i4th September to :8th November. 
Under the English forest laws of Henry II., four knights were 
appointed to see to the agistment, and to receive the king's 
pannage, which in well-wooded forests amounted to a consider- 
able sum. No man might agist his own woods in a forest 
before those of the king were agisted ; the agistment of the 



royal woods ended fifteen days after Michaelmas. The usual 
agistment fee was a penny for each pig above a year old, and 
a halfpenny for every pig above half a year old. The swain- 
motes were constantly engaged in the late autumn, throughout 
England, in fining those who had unagisted pigs in the forest. 
The pannage fees were usually paid at a special swainmote 
held about Martinmas, which was sometimes, as in Duffield 
Frith, called the pannage, or "tack" court. Each tenant who 
had common rights "tacked," or declared the number of his 
pigs turned into the forest. Any untacked were forfeited, and 
the tenant was also fined according to the steward's pleasure. 
When the tenant had as many as seven swine, the king had 
one, but returned ^d. for it to the tenant ; if eight, the king 
had one, returning zd. ; if nine, id. was returned ; but if ten, 
one was taken with no return. This remained the Duffield rule 
to the end of its days as a forest. There is also a good deal of 
evidence of this being carried out in other forests; particularly 
the proviso of the king having the best one of every ten 
pannaged swine. 

Guildford park, in the Surrey portion of Windsor forest, 
was agisted in 1257 with 156 pigs, and in that case the king's 
claim was the heavy one of every third pig, amounting to 
52 pigs worth 2s. each. In 1260 the same park was agisted 
with 240 pigs ; but for that year 4^. was paid for each pig. 

At a pannage court held at Birkley lodge on 2Qth October, 
1523, for all the wards of Needwood forest, the pannage fees 
for 185 pigs amounted to 2js. o\d. y being at the usual rate of 
id. a pig, and \d. for a young pig. 

Fines for collecting and carrying off both acorns and beech 
mast were not uncommon at the autumn swainmotes. 

It should be remembered that any freeman, in the case of 
swine and other animals, had a right, by the Charter of the 
Forest, to agist any free wood of his own, though situated in a 
forest, in accordance with his desire, and take his own pannage. 
The charter also granted leave to any freeman to drive his 
swine through royal demesne woods, in order to gain his own 
wood or some place outside the forest. 

CATTLE. The agistment of cattle in certain stretches of the 
forest, as well as their pasturing on particular lands, was usual 
throughout England. From an early date it was customary to 


insist upon all such cattle being branded for identification. 
Thus, in the accounts of 1321-2 of Needwood forest occurs an 
item of ^d. paid for an iron for branding the cattle. It was, 
for the most part, the duty of the reeves of the forest parishes 
to mark with some distinctive sign the cattle entitled to feed 
upon the wastes. In the case of the Essex forest, the mark 
consisted of a letter surmounted in each case by a crown. The 
marking irons were usually eight inches in height ; Mr. Fisher 
has given examples of a considerable number. Representa- 
tion of the cattle marks of the different parishes of Pickering 
forest are given in Home's Town of Pickering (1905). 

Dartmoor was the most conspicuous example of a vast forest 
district given up chiefly to the pasturage of cattle. The ac- 
counts and court rolls, from the time of Edward III. to James I., 
give full details of the large amount of cattle turned out in each 
of its four divisions. They numbered at times upwards of five 
thousand head, and the charge right through this long period 
was i^d. each. They came from all over Devonshire, and the 
annual great drives, to see their correct marking and number- 
ing, are described in the section on that forest. "Drifts" of cattle 
for a like purpose also occur in the Needwood proceedings. 

Several of the forest rolls from the time of Edward I. to 
Elizabeth, yield particulars of the vaccaries or great cowhouses 
with pasturage attached, which were on the royal demesnes, 
and were included in the forest accounts, whether under direct 
management or let out to farm. Instances occur in the cases 
of Duffield, Pickering, Clarendon, and Cheshire, and notably 
in the later history of Peak Forest. 

It may here be noticed that the place-name Booth, by itself 
or in combination, is usually indicative of the site of the 
residence of those who acted as cowherds. This is particularly 
noticeable in the neighbourhood of Edale, Derbyshire, where 
there were five separate vaccaries in the time of Elizabeth. 

HORSES. The agistment of a limited number of horses, and 
more particularly of mares with colts, was common throughout 
England's forests. Records of their agistment in the parks of 
Duffield forest occur in the accounts of several centuries. It 
was generally recognised that they did more damage than 
cattle or sheep, and therefore their escape fines were heavier. 
Thus at a Belper (Duffield forest) woodmote court of 1304, 


various offenders, presented by the foresters, paid i2d. as fines 
for suffering foals and mares to wander in the ward, whilst the 
fines for plough-cattle and sheep were from ^d. to id. 

In subsequent particulars as to the Peak, reference will be 
found as to the establishment of stud farms within a forest 

The ministers' accounts of the issues of Pickering castle and 
forest in 1325-6 show that there was a stud (equiciuni) of two 
black stallions, called " Morel of Merton " and " Morel of Tut- 
bury " ; seventeen mares ; six three-year-olds (pullam), four two- 
year-old colts (staggi} ; three two-year-old fillies (pultre) ; four 
yearling fillies (pultrelle) ; eight other young horses (pulli de 
remarencia] ; and ten foals from the mares {pulli de exitii). 

SHEEP. A charter of Canute contains the grant of a right to 
feed a flock of sheep in a forest. At the Domesday survey there 
were a large number of sheep in parishes pertaining to the forest 
of Essex. But the Norman forest laws distinctly forbade sheep 
pasturing in forests without licence. The reason usually alleged 
for this restriction, as stated in a seventeenth-century action at 
law, was in respect of the dislike "which the Redd and fallow 
Deare doe naturallie take of the sent and smelle of the sheepe ; 
as also for that the sheepe do undereate the Deare, and hurt 
and spoyle the coverte, and thereby prejudice and wrong the 
Deare both in their feeding and layer." This, however, was 
flatly denied by the other side, who said that " dayly experience 
proveth the contrary ; and that yt is an usuall thing to see a 
deere and a sheepe feed together in one quillet of ground, even 
upon one mole-hill together." 

When the tenants of Broughton, in Amounderness forest, 
Lancashire, claimed at an eyre of 1334 common pasture in the 
forest of Fulwood, sheep were excepted because they failed to 
produce any special grant for the pasturing of such animals. 

In the later forest days, when the breeding of sheep in this 
country had greatly increased, grants for their admission into 
forests became much more common. The agistment rolls of 
Dartmoor forest for 1571-2, which had previously been con- 
fined to cattle and horses, include a considerable number of 
sheep, in flocks varying from three hundred to ten. The 
illegal introduction of sheep into Peak Forest in Elizabethan 
days, and their consequent wholesale impounding, is described 


in a subsequent chapter. The freeholders of Needwood forest, 
in 1680, decided that sheep found pasturing in the forest were 
to be forfeited, and twelve shillings a day fine for each sheep ! 

Sheep-farming on the royal demesnes in districts associated 
with forests, and therefore found in forest accounts, occur 
occasionally, notably in the forests of Pickering and Peak 
Forest. The sheep are usually divided into wethers (multones), 
ewes (oves, or oves matrices), two-year-olds (bidentes}, hogs, or 
male one-year-olds (hogastri), gimmers, female sheep from first 
to second shearing (j'erct'e^, and lambs. Milking ewes and 
the making of sheep-cheese was usual throughout mediaeval 
England. Certain particulars relative to this custom will be 
found under the Peak Forest. 

GOATS. The turning out of goats to pasture, even in the 
wildest parts of a forest, was unlawful ; save in occasional very 
restricted areas, under express licence. By tainting the pasture, 
they effectually banished the deer. The Scotch law of the 
forest provided that if goats were found for a third time in a 
forest, the forester was to hang one of them by the horns on 
a tree; whilst for a fourth time he was forthwith to slay one, 
and leave its bowels in the place, in token that they were found 

In the lodgment or adjudication of claims before the eyre, 
goats are often expressly excluded. Thus the prioress of 
Wykeham, at the fourteenth-century Pickering eyre, claimed 
common of pasture in certain woods and adjoining wastes for 
all animals except goats ; and when not mentioned, they were 
certainly tacitly excluded. On the other hand, at the same 
eyre, the claims of Gilbert de Ayton to pasture goats in the 
moors and woods of Hutton Bushel, within the covert and 
without, at all times of the year, and of Ralph de Hasting in 
his woods and moors at Allerston, Cross Cliff and Staindale 
were allowed. Certain stray goats found in the forest of Mara, 
Cheshire, in 1271, were forfeited to the master forester. The 
tenants of Broughton, in the Lancashire forest of Amounder- 
ness, had common pasture granted them at Fulwood, in 1334, 
for all animals save goats. At a swainmote in Wyersdale 
forest, in the same county, held at Whitsuntide,. 1479, eight 
transgressors were presented for keeping goats ; the goats 
numbered forty-one, eight of which belonged to the prioress of 


Seton. No fewer than fifty-six persons were presented at the 
Epping Forest justice seat of 1323-4 for keeping goats on the 
forest contrary to the assize. 

When Henry III. was tarrying at Stamford in 1229, he 
was approached by the men on the royal demesne of Kings- 
cliff and the neighbouring townships, complaining piteously 
that Hugh de Neville, the keeper of Rockingham forest, and 
his bailiffs prohibited them from turning out their goats in the 
forest of Cliff according to ancient custom. The goats must 
have been in considerable numbers, for the men asserted that 
they could not support their lives if this prohibition was sus- 
tained. The king thereupon ordered that they should be per- 
mitted to pasture their goats in the more open part of the 
wood (in clariori bosco), and wherever they would do the least 
injury to the forest. 


THE sixth article of the Charter of the Forest (1217) dealt 
with the old custom of the lawing of dogs. The inqui- 
sition or view of the lawing of dogs in the forest was for 
the future to be made every third year, and he whose dog was 
then found to be unlawed was to be fined three shillings. This 
mutilation of dogs, termed lawing or expeditation, to prevent 
them chasing the game, is said to be as old as the time of 
Edward the Confessor. By the forest law of Henry II. it was 
done to mastiffs. The charter of 1217 laid down that the law- 
ing was to consist in cutting off the three claws of the forefeet, 
without the ball. "The mastive," says Manwood, " being 
brought to set one of his forefeet upon a piece of wood eight 
inches thick and a foot square, then one with a mallet, setting 
a chissell two inches broad upon the three clawes of his fore- 
foot, at one blow doth smite them cleane off." 

This lawing, though originally intended only for mastiffs, 
was usually applied to all dogs in forest bounds. This was 
certainly the case in the forests of Rockingham, Pickering, 
and Essex. The right to have unlawed dogs was not un- 
frequently granted by the Crown to persons of position and 
influence. Thus the Canons of Waltham, the Bishop of Lon- 
don, and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's had grants 
exempting their house dogs in Essex forest; whilst the Earl of 
Arundel and other laymen obtained complete exemption. It 
'was the custom in some forests, as at Pickering, for outlying 
townships to pay a composition, termed in that forest " hun- 
gill " or " houndgeld," for the purpose of securing immunity 
from lawing. 

The dog of most common occurrence in forest proceedings 
is the greyhound (leporarius), which hunted by sight. By the 



Assize of Woodstock (1184), the keeping of greyhounds in the 
forest was forbidden. In the cases of venison trespass through- 
out the forests of England, the illicit hunting of deer with 
greyhounds, with or without bows and arrows, is the com- 
monest charge. The last chapter of the Regard of 13 
Henry III. directed inquiry to be made as to who had 
braches or greyhounds or anything else for doing harm to the 
king's deer. Lists of those keeping greyhounds are some- 
times found amongst the extant eyre rolls. Greyhounds found 
in a forest, or straying in pursuit of deer, were sent forthwith to 
the particular justice of that forest. Thus a number of grey- 
hounds in the charge of poachers, found in Rockingham forest 
in 1246, were sent by the foresters and verderers to Sir Robert 
Passclew, then justice of that forest. It is thought that the 
old greyhound was a larger and more powerful dog than that 
which we know by that name, and more nearly resembled our 
deerhound. Dr. Caius (English Dogges, 1576) applies the 
word to various breeds. He describes the greyhound as 

"A spare and bare kinde of dogge (of fleshe but not of bone) ; 
some are of a greater sorte, and some of a lesser ; some are smooth 
skynned, and some are curled ; the bigger thereof are appoynted to 
hunt the big"ger beasts, and the smaller serve to hunt the smaller 

Brache (brachettus) was the general term for hounds that 
hunted by scent (odore sequentes), and the bercelet (bercelettus} 
was a smaller hound of the same kind. The limehound 
(limarius) also hunted by scent, and the name may have been 
but an alias for a bercelet. The limehound, or lymer, as it is 
termed by Twici and Caius, took its name from the line or 
thong by which it was held. Caius says this dog is in smelling 
irregular and in swiftness incomparable, and that it taketh the 
prey " with a jolly quickness." 

The mastiff (inastivus) is of fairly frequent occurrence in 
forest proceedings of the thirteenth and subsequent centuries ; 
it seems to have corresponded to our dog of the same name. 
It was large and strong, and evidently employed chiefly for the 
protection of property and person. It was used for the destruc- 
tion of wolves, and was capable of hunting and pulling down 
both red and fallow deer. 


Straknr was the name of a kind of dog in favourite use 
among Cumberland deer-poachers, according to an eyre roll 
of 15 Edward I. But it was not merely a North-country 
word, for we have met with it twice in Wiltshire forest pro- 

Velters (valtri, veltri, or vautrarii) were running hounds akin 
to but separate from the old greyhound. Blount says that it 
was a mongrel hound used for the chase of the wild boar. 

In addition to the rough division of dogs of the forest into 
those that hunted by sight and those that hunted by scent, 
terms are commonly found, in the forest proceedings, for dogs 
that hunted different kinds of game. Thus those that were 
used for hunting the red deer were termed cervericii canes, or 
hart hounds. They were a breed of running hounds, and were 
not used exclusively for hart hunting. In the fifteenth century 
the king had a master of hart hounds. 

Damericii canes were the buckhounds for hunting the fallow 
deer. Small packs of these buckhounds are frequently men- 
tioned as accompanying the royal huntsman of Henry III. and 
Edward I. 

The roe deer were occasionally hunted, and canes cheverolerez 
are mentioned several times as being sent to forests by King 
John. On one occasion Adam, his huntsman, was accompanied 
by a pack of seventeen roehounds, and on another by one of 

Porcerecii canes is obviously the name of hounds used for 
hunting wild boars. We have met with the term in several 
rolls of John, Henry III., and Edward I., among dogs 
dispatched to the royal forests. 

Lutericii canes is the equivalent for otterhounds. Mr. Turner 
cites their occurrence in a wardrobe account of 18 Edward I. 
They are also mentioned in the same reign in the Peak Forest, 
and occur in connection with Clarendon forest in the fifteenth 

Haericii canes denoted a particular kind of running hound, 
and is usually rendered " harriers." There is said, however, to 
be no real philological connection between the term and hares, 
and they were certainly used in hunting deer, as is abundantly 
proved by Mr. Turner. 

Dogs are frequently distinguished by their colour in cases 


of venison trespass. In the case of a Rockingham trespass of 
1246 with five greyhounds, one was white, another black, a 
third fallow, a fourth black-spotted, and the fifth tawny 
(teyngre). Other terms for greyhound colour in forest pro- 
ceedings are ticked (tetchelatus}, tiger - marked or brindled 
(tigrus], and red (ruffus and rtibens}. In a presentment of 
the Lancashire forest of Quernmore a greyhound is described 
as being red with a black muzzle (cum nigro mussell}. Occa- 
sionally a dog's name is entered on the proceedings, as was 
the case with a certain black greyhound in Peak Forest, called 
"Collyng." The name occurs in poaching charges at two 
different courts. 

The early treatises on hunting pay great attention to the 
diseases of sporting dogs and their general treatment. 

Frequent mention will be found in subsequent chapters of 
the general custom of allowing local foresters to kill one or 
two deer a year, when training their young dogs. 

In Sir Henry Dryden's edition of Twici (vide infm), there is 
a brief appendix on the various kinds of dogs used in hunting. 
He gives a plate, here reproduced, of outline sketches of dogs 
from illuminations of Gaston de Foix's French treatise. Fig. i 
is the alant, or kind of mastiff, described as running swiftly but 
also following by scent. It was used in France chiefly for 
bears and boars. On account of its ferocity, it was generally 
kept muzzled. Fig. 2 is a gazehound, or greyhound. Fig 3 
is a lymer, or limehound, with hanging ears something like 
a bloodhound. Figs. 4 and 5 picture the brache or rache. 
This is usually represented in Gaston's pictures as black and 
tan. It corresponded to our beagle. 

The old seasons for forest hunting are almost invariably 
given wrongly in works or articles dealing with the subject ; 
the errors were usually made through imagining that the 
English seasons coincided with those prevailing on the Con- 
tinent. The true hunting times can, however, be gathered from 
original forest proceedings. 

Pinguedo was the term for the season of hunting the hart 
and the buck when they were fat, or, to use forest jargon, " in 
grease " ; it extended from 24th June to i4th September. 

Fermisona, or fermisone, was the period for hunting the 
hind and the doe, which lasted from nth November to 2nd 


February. The summer hart or buck venison was considered 
much more of a delicacy than the winter hind or doe venison. 

There are a variety of entries on the Close Rolls from the 
time of John to Edward II., relative to the dispatch of the 
king's huntsmen and attendants and hounds to different forests, 
for the purpose of obtaining venison for the royal household ; 
most of this was salted down on the spot and committed to 
the sheriff for delivery. A small selection of such cases, of 
the reigns of Edward I. and II., are cited here instead of 
under the respective forests. Entries of this kind make it 
quite clear that no large hunting staff or kennels were main- 
tained in the actual forests ; they were reserved for the king, 
and occasionally for his friends, the local foresters having only 
a few hounds in training for the use of the master of the 

On December I3th, 1275, Matthew de Columbariis, keeper 
of the forest of Clarendon, received orders to permit Henry de 
Candover, the king's huntsman, to take twenty does for the 
king's use against Christmas, and to give him due aid and 
counsel ; certain of the king's yeomen accompanied the hunts- 
man. In 1280, when Philip de Candover was king's huntsman, 
he received during his visit to Clarendon forest 2s. 6d. a day 
from the sheriff of Wilts for his wages, whilst the expenses of 
his horses and of the pack of twenty-six hounds and their two 
keepers (or berners) amounted to 18 i$s. 4^. In the follow- 
ing year the pack numbered thirty-two, and the expenses were 
24 15-5-. id. 

In November, 1313, the sheriff of Berks was ordered to pay 
to Robert le Squier, whom the king was sending to take 
eight hinds and six bucks in Windsor forest, with two 
berners, three ventrers, one berceletter, twenty-four running 
dogs, twelve greyhounds, and two bercelets, his wages, during 
his stay in his bailiwick, to wit i2d. a day, and 2d. a day for 
each of the berners, ventrers, and the berceletter, and \\d. 
a day for each of the dogs, greyhounds, and bercelets. He 
was also to deliver him salt for the venison, and carriage for 
the same, to the king. There was another order to the sheriff 
of the like kind in June, 1314, and in July, 1316. 

Edward II., in July, 1315, issued his mandate to the sheriff 
of Devonshire to pay to Robert Squier and David de Franketon, 


two of the royal yeomen, wages of i2d. a day, two berners 
and two ventrers zd. a day, together with \d. a day for each 
of twenty-four running dogs, and i\d. a day for each of nine 
greyhounds, whilst they hunted for the king in Dartmoor 
Forest. He was also to provide salt and barrels, and carriage 
for the venison. At the same time, the keeper of Dartmoor 
Forest was ordered to permit Robert and David to take twenty 

In July, 1315, Edward II. (after giving like instruction to 
the sheriff of Somerset with regard to the forests of Neroche, 
Petherton, Mendip, and Selwood) ordered the sheriff of 
Devon to pay to the king's yeomen, Robert Squier and David 
de Franketon, whom the king was sending with two berners, 
twenty-four running dogs, two ventrers, and nine greyhounds, 
to take venison in the forest of Exmoor, \2d. a day each whilst 
thus engaged, together with 2d. a day for each of the berners, 
and \d. a day for each of the running dogs, and zd. a day for 
each of the ventrers, with i\d. a day for each greyhound. He 
has also to provide the yeoman with salt and barrels for the 
venison, and to provide for the carriage of the same. At the 
same time the keeper of Exmoor received orders to permit the 
king's huntsmen to take twenty harts out of the forest. Ex- 
moor was evidently at that time the exclusive haunt of the red 
deer ; the keepers of Neroche, Selwood, and Petherton were 
ordered to supply so many bucks (i.e. fallow deer), whilst the 
keeper of Mendip was to supply twelve bucks and twelve harts. 

The berner (bernarius] was the title of the man in charge of 
running hounds ; the ventrer or fewterer [veltrarius] had 
charge of the greyhounds ; and the berceletter was responsible 
for the bercelets or hounds that hunted by scent. The reason 
for salting down the venison was because of the difficulty of 
obtaining fresh meat in the winter season, when root crops 
were unknown, and the expenses of fodder for all kinds of 
cattle were so serious. In a few of the forests large larders 
were maintained, for the express purpose of salting the venison 
when the summer season of hunting was over. In such cases 
there was, of course, no necessity to order the sheriff to see to 
the salting or pay for the carriage of the meat to the royal 
household. There were such larders in Duffield Frith and in 
Needwood forest. An example of a year's accounts, con- 


taining references to the local salting, and to the general 
distribution of the venison, are here given. 

The master forester of Needwood, for the year 1313-14, 
was John de Myneers. His venison accounts for the year 
show that 95 fat bucks and 12 does were killed in the twelve- 
month. Ten of the bucks served for the king's hospitality at 
Tutbury, ten more were sent to the king at Melburne, and 
twenty-three bucks and six does to the king at Castle Donning- 
ton. Six does were sent to Bagworth for the hospitality of 
Robert de Holand. Twenty-one bucks were distributed, on 
the king's warrant, to John de Ashborne, Walter de Mont- 
gomery, and ten other gentlemen. The remainder were salted 
down for winter use in the larder. The master forester's 
accounts include igs. $d. for 4 qrs. 6 Ibs. of salt for the larder, 
whilst 4-s 1 . t\\d. were paid as wages of the larderer for five weeks' 

Nicholas de Hungerford was at the same time (1313-14) 
master forester of Duffield Frith. His general accounts for 
the forest showed receipts of 15 i6s. o\d. Of this amount 
9 2s. 6d. was paid in wages, 16^. 8d. for salt for salting the 
venison, and i stag and 31 bucks and does in the forest larder 
at Belper. The deer taken this year, by order of the master 
forester, under the warrants of the Earl of Lancaster, were 
i stag, 41 bucks, and 25 does. In addition to this, Lord 
Robert de Holand the foundations of whose great moated 
house still remain within the Hulland ward was allowed to 
take 20 bucks for the earl's larder. The master forester paid 
9-r. 8d. for the carriage of 33 bucks from Belper to Kenilworth, 
and 14.?. for the carriage of 12 bucks from Belper to Castle 
Donnington, and 4 bucks to Melburne, in accordance with 
letters from the earl. 

It was the custom in every forest to cut what was usually 
termed browsewood or clear browse for the sustenance of the 
deer in the winter season. The references to this practice are 
innumerable and interesting throughout almost every class of 
forest proceedings. Manwood says : 

" When there is not sufficient foode for the deere, neyther of grasse 
nor of such fruites, then the forresters that have the charge of the 
wild beasts, must provide browsewood to be cut downe for them to 
feed upon." 


He also states that the lord of a forest might enter, by his 
officers, into any man's wood within the forest limits, to cut 
such browsewood for the deer in winter. It was usual to cut 
it in the late autumn, and store it ready for sprinkling about 
when the severe weather or frosts came. It was supposed to 
be cut from twigs that were not more than an inch in circum- 
ference, nor heavier than a deer may readily turn up with his 
horns. In all forests the browsewood seems to have chiefly 
consisted of oak twigs ; but evidence is cited showing that 
holly and ivy, as well as maple, hazel, thorn, and ash were 
occasionally used for this purpose. 

In the more favourite royal forests, such as Rockingham, 
Clarendon, and Windsor, a certain amount of hay was also 
used for the winter feeding of the deer at an early period, but 
in later forest history hay-feeding became commoner. 

Everything in the forest was made to give way to the deer, 
and where hedges or enclosures of any kind were permitted 
for the cultivation of crops, they had always to be constructed 
sufficiently low to allow of the ingress and egress of the deer. 

The owners of lands adjoining the forest were in the habit, 
if they had a grant of imparking, of making certain contriv- 
ances called deer-leaps or salteries (saltatoria). These were so 
contrived that the deer could readily leap into the park over a 
fence of moderate height, but were prevented from returning 
by a steep upward slope in the ditch inside the park fence. 
Occasionally such deer-leaps were deliberately constructed in 
parks within a forest for the convenience of catching or herd- 
ing the deer. But there are various instances of deer-leaps 
being presented to the justices in eyre as a nuisance to the 
forest. If it was within a short distance of the forest, they 
had power to order its removal. At the Cumberland eyre of 
1285, a presentment was made that Isabel of Clifford had a 
park with two deer-leaps, one of which was a mile (leuca), and 
the other a mile and a half from the forest of Quinfield. At 
an inquisition at Somerton, in 1364, the jurors complained of 
two deer-leaps three miles distant from the forest, as detri- 
mental to the king's game and contrary to the assize of the 

BUCKSTALLS, etc. There are various references in forest 
proceedings to buckstalls. A buckstall was an extended trap or 


toil for deer, of which nets usually formed a component part ; 
but the definition generally given "a net for taking deer" 
is not sufficient. Earth ramparts and wattled work were also 
generally used in its construction ; it was, in fact, a kind of 
cunning enclosure wherein the deer could be taken alive, as is 
implied in the term deer-hay. A "buckstalle vel dere-hay " 
is named in presentments of Clarendon forest. 

Matthew de Hathersage, a baron, was presented at the eyre 
of 1251 for having a buckstall in his great wood at Hather- 
sage, which was distant barely two bow-shots from the king's 
forest of the Peak. The baron pleaded that his ancestors had 
always had a buckstall in their wood, and that formerly it was 
still nearer to the bounds of Peak Forest. The upshot of the 
matter was that the decision went against Matthew, who had 
to pay a fine of twenty marks. 

The master forester of Duffield Frith was instructed to see 
that there were no buckstalls set upon the borders of that 
forest, and the ministers of each ward were enjoined to pre- 
sent at the woodmote the setting of "any haye or buckstakes, 
trappes, or springes for deere." 

Among the claims at the Pickering eyre of 1334, the prior of 
Malton claimed that he and his men were quit of all buck- 
stall service, which he explained to mean a duty laid on all 
other forest residents of assembling for the purpose of collect- 
ing the deer into an enclosure which they have to make for 
that purpose, and failing, are heavily fined. The prior failed, 
however, to make this part of his claim good. The prior of 
Ellerton at the same time claimed a like exemption from 
buckstall attendance, and on the production of a charter 
of Henry III. his claim in this respect was allowed. 

An instance occurred at the forest pleas of Pickering in 
1488, in which the term buckstall was used simply for snar- 
ing-nets. It was then presented that one Thomas Thomson, 
a yeoman, with a number of unknown persons, entered 
T31andsby park at midnight with a horse laden cum retibus 
vocatis buckstalles et ropes, killing about twenty does. An Act 
of Parliament, a few years later, prohibited anyone who was not 
the owner of a park, chase, or forest, using a buckstall under 
a penalty of 10. 

There were various devices, apart from the buckstall or 


enclosure, used for the snaring of deer. In 1246, the forester 
of Brigstock park, Rockingham forest, found two men 
setting five snares of horsehair for taking fawns or hares. 
The men were taken before the verderers, and gave pledges 
to appear at the next eyre. In 1251, a trap was found set 
in the same park. Robert, chaplain of Sudborough, was 
suspected, and on his house being searched the woodwork 
of a trap with the cord broke was found ; on the cord was 
deer's hair. In 1255, a snare, consisting of four cords 
stretched round a dish of water, was found in the wood of 
Bassethawe (Rockingham). The foresters watched all night 
to see if anyone would come, but in vain. On the following 
day an inquisition was held by the four neighbouring town- 
ships, before the stewards of the forest and one of the 
verderers. Sir Robert Basset, the owner of the wood, found 
twelve pledges to produce Peter, the forester of the wood, 
whenever required ; the cords were handed to the verderer to 
produce at the next eyre, and the wood of Bassethawe was 
taken into the king's hands. 

The commonest kind of deer snares seem to have taken two 
forms, occasionally both combined ; the one was the inter- 
twining of cords between stout stakes in the midst of a usual 
deer track, and the other the suspending of halters or looped 
ropes in the trees overhead to catch the deer by their heads 
or horns. In 1260, five workmen employed in Guildford park 
in mending the pales and cutting down oaks for that purpose, 
set cords to entangle the deer that came to feed on the fresh 
oak leaves. The cords were found by the park-keepers, and 
the men bound over to appear at the next eyre. There was an 
interval of ten years before an eyre was held, and meanwhile 
two of the delinquents had died. The justices, in 1270, fined 
the other three half a mark each. 

Two labourers in Duffield Frith were committed, in 1321, by 
the verderers to appear before the justices to answer a charge 
of having set cart-ropes in an opening in the pale fence of 
Shottle park, with halters suspended in the trees overhead. 
There is another instance of a like snaring of deer, with a cart- 
rope and smaller cart gear, at Weybridge, Hunts, in 1455. 

The venison indictments at the New Windsor eyre of 1488, 
included a charge against Thomas a Clowe, of Clewer, and 


four others, of having fixed halters (capistra) and other snares 
in a place called Brodeles, and there with a halter caught, 
suspended, and killed a doe, whilst others after a like fashion 
had killed a red deer's fawn. They were convicted, and 
ordered to appear before the justices at Westminster within 
fifteen days. 

The forest proceedings at the Waltham swainmotes of the 
seventeenth century mention various devices then in use in 
Essex for the killing of deer, such as "engines called wyers, 
engines made of ropes, withes, dear-hays, buckstalls, and 
tramels, and other nets." Mr. Fisher tells us that one of these 
nets, described as a " thief net," was baited with bottles, flowers, 
and looking-glasses ; an apparatus designed to practise upon 
the curiosity of the deer. One man was presented for pitch- 
ing halters about a grove; another for "hanging a lyne in 
a creepe-hole to ketch a deer." 

Among the Cotton collection of the British Museum (Tib. 
A. vii.), is a fourteenth-century illuminated manuscript called 
The Pilgrim. The pilgrim meets with every variety of tempta- 
tion at the hands of the devil. Entering a forest district, he is 
tempted by the Evil One to catch both fish and game, and is 
taught how to net and snare both river and woods. The 
picture of this incident (Plate vm.) gives a realistic idea of 
the commoner forms of deer snaring. 

CHEMINAGE and FENCE MONTH. It has been disputed 
whether the term "cheminage" that is to say, way-leave or 
passage through a forest in return for payment was ever used 
apart from the fence month. In particulars to be inquired 
into by the jury of the Duchy of Lancaster, in the honour of 
Pickering, one of the articles runs : 

" Whoe receiveth the Chummage yearlie within the foreste, 
namelie, a tax upon cartes and cariages, traveylinge over the 
foreste in fence moneth, formerlie sometimes xiily. \\\\d. per annum, 
t sometimes more ? " 

Nevertheless, at various dates, the term "cheminage" is 
frequently used without any limitation to a particular month, 
and is perhaps best defined as a toll for wayfarage through 
a forest. 

The chymynagium of Duffield Frith pertained to Robert 


Ferrers, Earl of Derby, in the reign of Stephen. Henry II. 
granted cheminage throughout the whole forest of Pickering 
to the burgesses of Scarborough, a right confirmed on several 
subsequent occasions. 

The fourteenth section of the Charter of the Forest, 1217, 
provided that it was only a forester-of-fee who had a right of 
cheminage, namely, for carriage by cart for the half-year, 2d., 
and the same for the other half-year ; for a horse that bare 
loads, \d. the half-year. But this fee was only to be taken of 
those who came as merchants from outside foresters' bailiwick; 
cheminage was not to be taken for any other carriage by cart. 
Those who bore on their back brushwood, bark, or charcoal, 
though it was their living, were to pay no cheminage to the 
king's foresters unless they took it in the royal demesne woods. 

The confirmation granted by Henry III. in 1256, to the 
burgesses of Scarborough, stated that they were to be quit of 
cheminage throughout the whole forest of Pickering, so that 
they might carry timber, brushwood, turf, heather, fern, and 
all else freely, wherever and whenever they pleased, except 
during the fence month. The priors of Malton and of Ellerton 
established their claims to be free of any payment, great or 
small, for the passage of their loaded carts, wagons, or pack- 
saddles throughout Pickering forest. The hospital of Crick- 
lade had a like exemption in the Wiltshire forest of Braydon. 

The fence month, or in Latin mensis vetitus^ which lasted 
from fifteen days before Midsummer to fifteen days after, was 
the special time when the deer required quiet and protection, 
for it was just about the usual time for fawning. The whole 
principle of cheminage was to prevent forest roads being freely 
used, so as to check disturbance of the king's game. These 
precautions were naturally redoubled during this particular 
season. In several forests agistment of pigs, and sometimes 
of cattle and horses, was permitted during the fence month, 
but in all such cases the agistment fee was very largely 
increased. So too with cheminage. 

In certain forests the money for way-leave was materially 
increased during that month ; whilst in some cases, as at Cran- 
borne Chase and in Pickering forest during its later period, 
such fees were only collected during that time. It was also 
customary in some forest districts, as at Rockingham, to allow 




O * 


the different townships within the forest to be rated at a certain 
sum, in proportion to the number of their carts, for way-leave 
during the prohibited period. In the stricter forests all passage 
for carts, etc., was absolutely forbidden to all outsiders in this 

A toll of 4^. for every cart or wagon, and a id. for every 
packhorse crossing over Harnham Bridge, near Salisbury, 
into Cranborne Chase, was paid as a check upon travelling 
during the fence month, as late as the early part of last century. 
This toll was collected by virtue of a warrant from Lord Rivers, 
and during the month a pair of deer's antlers were fixed on the 
bridge as a warning to travellers. 

HUNTING TREATISES. Twici's Le Art de Venerie, written in 
Norman-French, is the oldest book on hunting in England. 
William Twici was huntsman to Edward II., and wrote 
this short treatise, circa 1325, at the end of the reign. There 
is a record on the Close Rolls of July, 1322, of Twici being 
sent by the king to the forests of Lancaster to take fat 
venison, with a lardener, two berners, four ventrers, a page, 
twenty greyhounds, and forty harthounds ; the sheriff was to 
pay Twici 7\d. a day for his own wages, 2d. a day to each of 
the berners and ventrers, id. a day to the page, and \d. a day 
for each of the hounds. From a later Close Roll entry we find 
that William Twici died, as a royal pensioner, in the abbey of 
Reading in the spring of 1328. It may therefore fairly be 
assumed that he wrote his short treatise when in retirement at 
Reading towards the close of his life. 

An early English version of this tract, wherein the name of 
John Gyfford is associated with Twici, is among the British 
Museum MSS. (Cott. MSS. Vesp. B. xii.). This was privately 
printed by the late Sir Henry Dryden, Bart., in 1843, with 
introduction, notes, and illustrations, making a book of eighty 

The Master of Game, written between 1406 and 1413 by one of 
Edward III.'s grandsons, Edward, the second Duke of York, is 
a translation from the French of the celebrated hunting-book 
Livre de Chasse. The author of this French treatise was Count 
Gaston de Foix, who began to write it on ist May, 1387. Of 
the thirty-six chapters of The Master of Game, only the last 
three, and a paragraph at the opening of the first chapter or 


prologue are original. The titles of the last three chapters 
are : (i) " How the hert shuld be snaryd with the lymer, and 
ronne to and slayn with strength"; (2) "How an hunter 
shuld seke and fynde the hare with rennyng houndes, and slee 
here with strength"; and (3) " Of the Ordinaunce of the 
maner of hundyng whan the king wil hunt in foreste or 
parke for the hert with bowes, greyhoundes and stable." It will 
therefore be seen that, interesting as this translation of a French 
book is, it throws but little, if any, light on ordinary English 
hunting and forest customs, for that which it does state in the 
words of the Duke of York, only applies to the formal hunting 
of the Court on a grand scale. It is the lack of knowledge of 
original and contemporary forest proceedings in England that 
has led so many writers astray. When purporting to write 
about England, they have really been writing about France, 
and the Continental customs relative to forests and forest 
hunting differed as widely in mediaeval days from those in use 
in our own country, as does "sport" in the two countries at 
the present time. 

The best manuscript of The Master of Game is the one in 
the British Museum (Cott. MSS. Vesp. B. xii.), written about 
1440. It is from this copy that several of the illustrations of 
this volume are taken. 

Prefixed to this manuscript is the English rendering of the 
Twici tract (first printed in Wright and Halliwell's Reliquice 
Antiqucc in 1541), whilst the two opening folios contain the 
following rhymes, the work of the fifteenth-century tran- 
scriber, which are rendered more valuable by the three small 
groups of wild animals of English forests, here reproduced : 

Alle suche dysport as voydith ydilnesse, 

It syttyth every gentilman to knowe, 

For myrthe annexed is to gentilnesse, 

Qwerfore among- alle othyr as y trowe 

To knowe the crafte of hontyng, and to blowe 

As thys book shall witnesse is one the beste, 

For it is holsum, plesaunt, and honest. 

And for to settle yonge hunterys in the way, 

To venery y caste me fyrst to go, 

Of wheche iiij bestis be that is to say, 

The hare, the herte, the wulfhe, the wylde boor also, 

Of venery for sothe there be no moe ; 

And so it shewith here in porteteure 

Where every best is set in hys figure. 


And ther ben othyr bestis v of chase, 

The buk the first, the do the secunde, 

The fox the thryde, whiche ofte hath hard grace, 

The forthe the martyn, and the last the Roo. 

And sothe to say there be no mo of tho. 

And cause why, that men shulde the more be sur' 

They shewen here also in portreture. 

Is this like as lecteture put thyngf in mende 

Of lerned men ryghte so a peyntyde fygure, 

Rememberyth men unlernyd in his kende ; 

And in wryghtyng- for soothe the same I fynde. 

Therfore, sith lerned may lerne in this book 

Be ymag'es shal the lewd if he wole look. 

And iij othyr bestis ben of gret disport 

That ben neyther 01 venery ne chace. 

In huntynge ofte thti doe gret comfort, 

As aftir ye shal here in othyr place. 

The grey is one therof with hyse slepy pace, 

The cat an othyr, the otre one also, 

Now rede this book, and ye shal fynde yt so. 

In the light of these rhymes and their classification of the 
wild animals, it at once becomes, apparent whence Manwood 
derived his misleading lists, so continuously cited, of 
(legal) beasts of the forest and of the chase. 

The four beasts of venery the hart, wolf, wild boar, and hare 
were sylvestres ; that is, they spent their days in the woods and 
coppices, and were taken by what was considered true hunting, 
being tracked and roused by the lymers or lymer hounds, and 
afterwards pursued by the pack (Plate ix.). 

But the fallow and roe deer, with the fox and martin, were 
beasts of chase ; that is, they were campestres, or found in the 
open country by day, and therefore required none of the 
niceties of tracking and harbouring in the thickets, but were 
roused straight away by the packs of hounds (Plate x.). 

The third group, neither of venery nor chase, were the 
badger, wild cat, and otter (Plate XL). 

The Boke of Saint Albans is the earliest English printed 
treatise on hunting. It was first issued at St. Albans in 1486. 
The author, according to the second edition, was Dame Julyana 
Bernes. Two other tracts, the one on hawking and the other 
on heraldry, were published with it, whilst to the second 
edition (1496) was added a fourth tract on fishing. This 
rhymed account of hunting is based partly on Twici and partly 


on the Duke of York's version of Livre de Chasse ; it possesses 
no originality. 

The Noble Art of Venerie or Hunting, by George Turbervile, 
of which the first edition was issued in 1575 and the second in 
1611, is almost a literal translation of Jacques du Fouilloux's 
La Venerie, first printed in 1560. The illustrations are also 
identical with those of the French work, save for one or two 
exceptions, and several of them are made to do service more 
than once with different headings. The book is only of small 
service as an exponent of English hunting customs. 

Sir Thomas Cockayne's Short Treatise of Hunting is a very 
rare and delightful tract of thirty-two pages, published in 1591. 
It is most genuinely English throughout, and gives the writer's 
own experiences of the different kinds of hunting then pre- 
valent. He recommends that roe deer should be hunted from 
the beginning of March till Whitsuntide. 

The seventeenth century supplied two works of some 
celebrity on the sport of hunting. That prolific writer, 
Gervase Markam, brought out the first edition of Country 
Contentments in 1615, wherein hunting holds the foremost 
place. Before the end of the century this work had passed 
through fifteen editions. The second was The Gentleman's 
Recreation, compiled by Richard Blane, a literary hack, and 
first issued in folio in 1686. Its chief value is in the plates, 
which aptly illustrate the sporting costume of that period. 

In the eighteenth century books and essays on hunting 
multiplied ; but the one memorable production, first printed in 
1781, was Beckford's charming and scholarly work, Thoughts 
upon Hunting. 

HUNTING COSTUMES. One of the most valuable features of 
Sir Henry Dryden's annotated Twici is the discussion on the 
costume of foresters, huntsmen, and their attendants. The plates 
illustrative of their dress are borrowed from that rare little 
treatise. Royalty and the nobility hunted on horseback, wear- 
ing their usual riding dress, as is evidenced by a great variety 
of illuminated manuscripts. The king's huntsman was also 
usually mounted, and there was generally one riding forester 
to each forest ; but the ordinary class of huntsmen, berners, 
varlets, etc., were on foot. In the thirteenth century they are 
generally represented (p. 182) as wearing close-fitting caps, 





and tied under the chin ; they were probably of leather, not of 
cloth, as suggested by Sir Henry Dryden. Their long loose 
robes seem unsuitable for active work, but they were perhaps 
more closely girt for action than artists cared, with an eye for 
flowing lines, to represent them. The foremost, with horse, 
represents the huntsman, and his attendants carry respectively 
a boar-spear and a long-bow. 

The two figures of the fourteenth century (p. 238) are taken 
from the representation in Stothard's Monumental Effigies 
of the highly interesting wall-painting, now almost obliterated, 
at the back of the canopied recess over Sir Oliver Ingham's 
tomb at Ingham church, Norfolk. He died in 1344. Both 
figures wear cowls, or caps and short capes in one. In 
shape they resemble the camail in armour of that period ; and 
they were probably of cloth, as they were coloured green in the 
painting. The short jupon of the figures on the left, also 
coloured green, is open at the sides to the hips, where a few 
buttons close the upper part of the slit. The legs were grey in 
the painting, and were probably worsted trunk-hose. The 
brass-studded bawdrick was of red leather. Four arrows show 
from a quiver worn at the back, and the long-bow is held in 
the left hand. The attachments of the horn to the bawdrick 
and of the quiver to the body is not shown, and had probably 
disappeared when the drawing was made. The figure on the 
right, in the act of stringing his bow, is attired after much the 
same fashion, but he wears a longer coat buttoned down the 
breast, also painted green, and round the waist is a brown 
leather quiver belt. 

The fourteenth-century figures on page 55 are taken from 
an illustration in the Phillipps MSS. copy of Gaston de Foix, 
and show a considerable similarity between the hunting cos- 
tume of England and France. Figure i in this picture, having 
unharboured a buck, has coiled the lymer's cord round his arm ; 
a white leather scrip or bag is attached to a black belt ; the coat 
is green, and the camail and stockings red. Figure 2 is a 
berner, dressed much the same as the harbourer, but having 
wide sleeves to his coat. Figure 3 represents a berner or har- 
bourer on his walks in the wood with lymer and cord ; his coat 
is green, and his red cowl has a dagged ornamental appen- 


At Newland, Gloucestershire, is the defaced fifteenth-century 
coarse stone effigy of Jenkin Wyrall, forester-of-fee in Dean 
forest, who died in 1457. 

The two illustrations given of this tomb show the forester 
wearing a peculiar loose cap, folded in plaits and knotted 
at the top. He wears a loose frock or jupon, with full sleeves 
and a short skirt, trunk-hose, and low boots. The horn on 
the right side is small, whilst on the left side is slung, by 
double straps, a short hanger or hunting sword. His feet 
appropriately rest on a brache or hound. 

Sir Henry Dryden was mistaken in considering this "the 

; Ijjtljt -Junk nujjralu )omcr of act :th(iiubprI);oyJtfcb : .oT\;t|)( 


only effigy of a forester in hunting costume in England." 
In the church of Skegby, near Mansfield, is the fourteenth-cen- 
tury stone effigy of one who must have been a forester-of-fee or 
some forest minister of Sherwood forest. The photographic 
plate (No. xix.) gives a vivid picture of his dress. He wears a 
close-fitting cap, probably of leather ; the tight-fitting sleeves 
of his inner jerkin show at the wrists through the short hanging 
sleeves of the outer garment, and over it he wears a tippet that 
had doubtless a cowl at the back. A hunter's horn hangs at 
the right side, suspended from a strap over the left shoulder. 
The feet rest on a hound. 

The quaint figures on page 89 are drawn from scenes in 
pargeting work on the George Inn, Forster's (or Forester's) 


Booth, Northumberland, dated 1637, on th e edge of the old 
forest of Whittlewood. The man in front with a spear is lead- 
ing a fox by a chain which his greyhound has caught, whilst 
the dog is coursing a hare. The other man is blowing the 
mort at the capture of a hart by a brache. The dress may be 
left to speak for itself. Unlike the other figures illustrated, 
both men wear leather gauntlets. 



AFTER the end of the glacial period, the first of the trees 
to obtain firm lodgment in the soil would be the hardiest 
kinds, such as the birch, elder, aspen, and willow, to- 
gether with the more sturdy shrubs, such as the holly, juniper, 
blackthorn, whitethorn, and gorse. As time advanced, the 
more gregarious kinds, such as the oak and hazel, so abundant 
among the fossil flora, would follow ; whilst other trees, such 
as the beech, ash, hornbeam, and sycamore would gain foot- 
hold in their respective localities. Most of the other trees that 
have been for many centuries of common occurrence in this 
country, such as the English elm, sweet chestnut, lime, and 
poplar, were introduced during the Roman occupation. 

Our earliest known forest laws paid great attention to the 
preservation of timber, more especially lest their destruction 
or the disturbance of the woods should be prejudicial to the 
king's game. The forest law attributed to Canute states that 
anyone touching wood or underwood in a royal forest, without 
the licence of the forest ministers, was to be held guilty of a 
breach of the chase. Anyone cutting an oak or other tree 
that bore fruit for the deer was to pay 2os. to the king in 

Henry II., by the Assize of Woodstock, ordained that 
foresters were to be held responsible for the destruction of 
demesne woods. The sale of any of the king's wood without 
warrant was prohibited. 

In most forests, tenants, as well as privileged persons in the 
vicinity, had limited rights to housebote, haybote, and firebote, 
or to one or more of these privileges ; that is to say, wood 



necessary for maintaining their houses, mending their hedges, 
and supplying their hearths and ovens with fuel. Thus, in 
addition to the claims of ordinary tenants, the abbot of Darley, 
the parson of Duffield, the parson of Mugginton, the heirs of 
Peter Nevill, the heirs of Cardell, the heirs of Bradburn, the 
heirs of Kniveton of Mercaston, the heirs of Bradshaw, and 
the heirs of four other families all claimed and used the liberty 
of having housebote, haybote, and firebote in Duffield Frith. 

With regard to the question of the vert of the forest, some- 
times called by the picturesque English term of " green hue," 
it included all trees, whether bearing deer fruit (such as acorns 
and beech mast) or not, as well as underwood. That which 
grew in the demesne woods of the king was, according to 
Manwood, "special vert," and the damaging of it was a 
greater offence than the interference with other vert in private 
woods within the forest ; but of such distinctions the records 
of the local courts or eyres contain but little trace. In all 
cases, however, the penalties were more severe on those who 
dwelt outside the forest. Anyone using wagons to take tim- 
ber out of demesne woods not only incurred a fine in propor- 
tion to the value of the timber, but, if the offence was repeated, 
also forfeited both wagon and team. Instances of this are 
cited in the account of Pickering forest. 

In 1287, as stated subsequently in chapter xvi., the justices 
drew up special vert by-laws for Sherwood forest, which are 
of much interest and precision. 

If the regarders reported that a wood in private hands had 
been wasted, the Crown had a right to take it into its own 
hands, provided the justices in eyre confirmed such present- 
ment. There are various instances of the Crown seizing such 
woods in the forest of Essex during the reign of Edward I. ; 
and in 1323 the prior of Bermondsey had his wood seized by 
the Crown on account of waste. Such woods were usually 
redeemed on payment of substantial penalties. 

The connivance of forest officers in vert offences was 
frequently brought before eyres by the reports of the re- 
garders, notably in the case of Pickering. 

The oak, as might naturally be supposed, was the chief 
forest tree in every part of England, and its timber was the 
most valuable. The special grants of timber from royal 


forests that were so frequently made by our kings, from John 
to Edward III., almost invariably specify that the wood was 
oak. Such grants were largely made to religious houses, both 
for their conventual buildings and their churches ; they were 
also made from time to time for the repairs or the erection of 
mills, bridges, castles, and manor houses. The trunks of 
these oaks were, for the most part, sent whole to the recipients, 
but occasionally the master forester had orders to supply so 
many rafters, joists, tie-beams, or other roof timber ready for 
use, and not infrequently shingles ready-trimmed for roofing, 
or trees suitable for such a purpose. The selection of the trees 
for timber purposes was usually left to the master forester or 
keeper ; but in some cases, particularly where a river ran 
through a forest, it was suggested in the warrant that trees 
should be felled which were most convenient for carriage. 

Gifts of dead trees for firewood were fairly common, par- 
ticularly to the religious houses, whilst a great number of 
monasteries obtained chartered rights of sending carts into 
the forest on particular days or at special seasons to obtain 
fuel for their fires or ovens. 

Oaks were also the usual trees assigned as a perquisite to 
the various officials at the time of holding an eyre ; and they 
were also the "fee-trees" assigned yearly to certain forest 

When the master forester of Duffield drew up his list of 
trees felled through divers orders of the Earl of Lancaster for 
the year 1313-14, they amounted to sixteen oaks (quercus] and 
six robura. The precise meaning of robur, and in what it 
differed from quercus^ is by no means easy to ascertain. The 
two terms appear side by side in almost every old forest 
account throughout England. Mr. Turner gives an interest- 
ing dissertation on this (Pleas of the Forest, 147-8), wherein 
he cites many uses of the word robur ; it is there considered 
that it is equivalent to a pollarded tree of oak or any other 
kind. A wider range of references, and particularly those of 
a later date than the thirteenth century, would, we think, 
qualify much that is there stated. Probably it may usually 
mean an oak which has been pollarded ; but is it not possible 
that quercus and robur, at all events in some forest rolls, were 
the two indigenous varieties of oak, sessiliflora and pedun- 


culata ? The old foresters could scarcely have failed to notice 
the difference of their appearance, and particularly the decided 
difference of texture in their timber. The word " roer," as an 
English form of robur, occurs in the later forest accounts of 
Clarendon and other south of England forests, and it will 
therefore be adopted for subsequent use in these pages. 

The sweet chestnut (Castanea vesca) has given rise to con- 
siderable and warm discussion as to its claim to be an indi- 
genous tree. On the whole, the soundest opinion seems to be 
that it is of foreign importation at an early date. The oft cited 
supposed quotation from Fitzstephen, originated by Evelyn, 
alleging that there was in his days a great forest of chestnuts 
near to London, turns out to be an invention, for the chestnut 
is not even mentioned in the particular passage. The idea 
also, at one time so current and still confidently held by a few, 
that chestnut wood forms the roofs of many of our oldest 
churches and at Westminster Hall, proves on examination to 
be a fable. In all these cases the wood is in reality the close- 
grained oak of the sessiliflora variety. 

There was, however, at least one place in England where 
chestnuts grew in abundance, and had attained considerable 
size as early as the twelfth century. This was in the forest of 
Dean. The tithe of chestnuts in that forest was granted by 
Henry II. to the abbey of Flaxley. This chestnut wood was 
evidently much prized and esteemed a great rarity. The old 
name for Flaxley, as mentioned in the foundation charter, was 
the valley of Castiard, a place-name probably derived from the 
presence of the chestnut trees. In the regard of the forest of 
Dean, taken in preparation for the eyre of 1280, it was pre- 
sented that the wood of chestnuts had much deteriorated since 
the last eyre through the bad custody of Ralph Abbenhale, the 
forester-of-fee of the baily of Abbenhale. The regarders found 
there thirty-four stumps of chestnuts that had recently been 
felled, of which Robert de Clifford, the justice, had had two 
for making tables. 

There is mention made in a New Forest account roll, temp. 
Ed. III., of a chestnut wood (bosco de castaneariis}. 

The lime, or linden tree (Tilia Europcea), is considered by 
some to be indigenous to England, whilst others regard it as 
an introduction of the Romans. It obtains occasional and 


interesting mention in forest proceedings and accounts. It 
was chiefly valued, as it is in some parts at the present day, 
for its inner bark, which was largely used for the making of 
mats and cordage. 

This bark was termed bast or bass ; hassocks covered with 
these bark strips, and fish mats are still often called basses. 
In Duffield Frith, where the limes were numerous and specially 
guarded, the regulations provided that " every keeper of wardes 
shall have a baste rope of them that bee layd to basting when 
the basting falls in their office, and all the wood that the 
basters cut the first day is the keepers, and the residue that is 
cut after in common to the king's tenantes." By another 
ordinance, the tenants were entitled to the small boughs of 
linte or lime trees blown down by the wind to the value of half 
a load, and also to "the linte in baisting time," which was 
common to them after the first day. 

Among the claims made by the tenants of Needwood forest 
was that of "hoar lynte." This was the term used in other 
parts, as well as in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, for the white 
wood of the lime tree after the basters had stripped it of the 
inner bark. 

In the time of Philip and Mary, the parker and sub-parker of 
Redlington park, in the Rutland-Leicester forest, were pre- 
sented for felling three lime trees ("Le lyneray trees") worth 
6s. 8d. each. 

The maple (Acer campestre) was known under the name of 
arabilis in the earlier forest proceedings, where it is of fairly 
frequent occurrence; but towards the opening of the fourteenth 
century the English word maple, in such forms as " mappill," 
" mapull," and " mapeles," begun to take its place, and occurs 
many times among the smaller trees or undergrowth in the 
sixteenth century. 

The most interesting entry in the receipts for Colebrook 
ward, Duffield Frith, for the year 1313-14, is the large sum. of 
12 i8s. 6d. from the sale of wood for making bowls (bolas). 
Common bowls were made of various woods, but the beauti- 
fully polished non-porous bowls of well-marked maple wood 
fetched a high price, and were often strengthened and adorned 
with bands and plates of silver. Suitable wood for the making 
of these "masers" was doubtless found in Colebrook ward. 


In the hedgerows of this part of old Duffield forest, and in the 
present parks and woods of Alderwasley, maple trees still grow 
to an unusual size. 

It is but rarely that the maple is found in England of any 
size. William Gilpin, the author of Forest Scenery ', says of it : 
"The maple is an uncommon tree, though a common bush." 
The finest maple tree in the kingdom is the one in Boldre 
churchyard (Plate xn.); it stands appropriately over Gilpin's 
grave; he was rector of Boldre for twenty years, dying in 1804. 

The beech is named with a fair amount of frequency in forest 
accounts ; there were beech woods of some size in Windsor, 
Pickering, Northamptonshire, and Clarendon forests, and it is 
often named in Hampshire records. The Windsor records 
show that beech was used for shipbuilding purposes. 

The birch, alder, crab-apple, hornbeam, ash, blackthorn, 
whitethorn, and holly occur from time to time". The hazel was 
common everywhere ; in Pickering it was sufficiently abundant 
to make the nut geld, or payments for licence to gather nuts, 
an item of some importance in the forest accounts. The elm is 
of very rare and late occurrence. 

The dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. proved 
a severe blow to the woods in the forests. A large number of 
these woods, some in almost every forest, had belonged to the 
religious houses. No sooner had they passed to the Crown or 
into private hands than the greater part of them were cleared 
of timber. In 1543 an Act for the preservation of timber was 
passed, the preamble of which laid emphasis on its great decay 
and likelihood of scarcity, as well for building houses and 
ships as for firewood. It was enacted that in copse of under- 
wood, felled at twenty-four years' growth, there were to be left 
twelve standrells or store oaks on each acre, or in default of 
oaks, so many elm, ash, or beech, etc. When cut under 
fourteen years' growth, the ground was to be enclosed or pro- 
tected for four years. Wood cut from fourteen to twenty-four 
years of age was to be enclosed for six years. Cutting trees 
on waste or common lands was to be punished by forfeiting 
6s. 8d. for each felled tree. This and other Acts of Henry VIII. 
and Edward VI. were extended and confirmed by the i3th 
of Elizabeth cap. 25. A later Elizabethan Act provided for 
the whipping of idle persons cutting or spoiling any wood, 


underwood, or standing trees, provided they could not pay 
the fine. 

Certain Elizabethan forest surveys, such as those for Duffield 
Frith, give the fullest possible particulars as to forest timber 
and undergrowth, enumerating every tree. 

A survey of the timber of the Lancaster forests taken in 
1587 supplies much detailed information. Quernmore forest 
is described as having a circuit of six miles. In it was Easton 
wood of six acres, set with alder, hazel, and whitethorn of 
forty years' growth, worth IDS. the acre, and also containing 
five score small sapling for timber trees, worth $s. each. In 
another wood, called New Kent, were forty dotard oaks for 
firewood, worth 2s. each ; and forty small saplings, worth 5^. 
each. Dickson Carr, "sundray besett with aller (alder) of an 
evil growth," was to be got up and new planted. Details are 
also given of four other small woods within the park, and 
there were in addition 140 dotard oaks, worth 2s. each, stand- 
ing about in different places. 

Full particulars are also given of Quernmore forest, outside 
the park ; the largest wood, Hollinhead, was four miles about, 
and contained 100 saplings, worth 6s. 8d. each ; on Rowend 
Hill were 128 oaks, worth 'js. each; at Ashpotts were alder 
and hazel of twenty years' growth, worth 4^. an acre ; and on 
another hill 212 small saplings, at 5^. each, etc. This timber 
was reserved for the repair of Lancaster Castle, and of the 
tenants' houses, when they had need, on the testimony of six 
sworn men, and of the fish garths and weirs on the waters of 
the Lune. From 1577 to 1587 eighty timber trees had been 
supplied for the repair of that castle at an average value of 
6s. 8d. a tree. Three hundred and fifty trees had been used in 
that period for firebote and housebote of the tenants, eighty 
for fish garths and weirs, twenty for park gates and dogstakes, 
and forty dotard trees for fuel. A single fee-tree, in addition 
to 2s. worth of fuel wood, was also granted yearly to the 
auditor, receiver, surveyor, head steward, clerk of the court, 
woodward, and axebearer. 

In Wyersdale, this survey shows that there were a good 
many ash and birch trees, as well as holly, alder, blackthorn, 
and whitethorn. The tenants were entitled to the wood they 
required for repairs on the testimony of six sworn men. 


Spyre, or spire, is a word found in some of the later wood 
accounts ; it denoted a young upstanding tree, and is still 
occasionally used by woodmen. 

The term blestro, or blettro, occurs frequently in earlier attach- 
ment court rolls (e.g. Plate in.); it means a sapling, usually 
of oak. Stubb, or stub, in like records, appears to signify a 
dead or decaying pollarded tree, and not a mere stump. 


THE later history of the forests, in the time of their decay, 
is briefly treated of at the close of most of the follow- 
ing chapters that deal with the different counties. But 
there are a few general and particular statements relative to 
the forests from the time of Henry VIII. to George III. that it 
is found best to cite in a separate section. 

In 1538-9, an interesting return was made of all the "kinge 
his game," both red and fallow, north of the Trent, arranged 
under counties and parks (Misc. Bks. 77). The parks of the 
duchy are not included. 


Bestwood Park . . 700 fallow, 140 red. 

Clypston Park . . 60 ,, 20 ,, 

Grynley Park . . 150 ,, 

Sherwood Forest . . about 1,000 red. 


Galtres Forest . . 800 fallow. 

Haitfeld Chase . . 700 red. 

Gredling Park . . 60 fallow. 

Pontefract Park . . 434 ,, 

Wakefield New Park . 200 ,, 

Ackworth Park . . 21 ,, 

Rypax Park . . . 45 ,, 

Eltoftes Park . . 15 ,, 

Wakefield Old Park . 40 ,, 

Conisborough Park . . 440 ,, 

Raskell Park . . 120 ,, 

Bristwick Park . . 160 ,, 

Likenfeld Park . . 429 ,, 



Yorkshire continued. 

Calton Park . . 30 fallow. 

Wressel Park . . 50 ,, 

Newsome Park . . 72 ,, 17 red. 

Topcliff Great Park . . 435 ,, 

Topcliff Little Park . . 247 ,, 

Spofforth Park . 175 ,, 

Wensdale Forest . . 610 ,, 60 red. 

Pickering Forest . . 140 ,, 50 ,, 


Teesdale Forest . 210 ,, 140 ,, 


Alnwick Park and members . 500 ,, 

Warkworth Park . no ,, 


Hurst Park . . 120 ,, 

Sherif Hutton . . 400 ,, 

Temple Newsom . . go ,, 

Phipping Park . . 30 


Total 6,352 fallow. 
2,067 re d- 

The ill-judged attempt of Charles I. and his advisers to 
reimpose forest law is treated of under the respective forests 
where the boldest efforts in this direction were made. This was 
particularly the case in Oxfordshire, where an endeavour was 
made to levy most extravagant penalties. The Peak Forest is 
an instance of amicable arrangement between the Crown and 
the forests tenants; while Duffield Frith, in the same county, is 
a striking instance of resistance. 

In 1639, Charles I. issued the following order for distribution 
of fat venison to the foreign ambassadors then in England : 

" Right trusty and wel-beloved Cozen and Counsellor, we greet you 
well. Whereas we have sent you a schedule under our signe manuell 
in which were mentioned such number of deere of this season as we 
are pleased to bestow upon the Ambassadors and Agents of divers 
Princes residing with us, together with the severall Parks and Walks 
wherein we purpose the said Deere shall be killed, We will and 
comand you forthwith to cause your severall warrants to be directed to 


every of the keepers of the said Parks and Walks, Authorising them to 
kill and deliver the said Deer according to our pleasure expressed in 
the said Schedule. And hereof ye are not to fayle, any restraint for 
killing of our Deere comandment or privy token given to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. And this our letter shall be your sufficient 
warrant and discharge in that behalf. Given under our signet at our 
Court at Oatlands the last day of July in the Fourteenth yeare 
of our reigne. -CHARLES R." 

The schedule particularises: Three bucks for the French 
Ambassador, from Hyde Park, Woodford Walk, and Windsor 
Great Park ; three for the Venetian Ambassador, from Windsor 
Little Park, Bushie Park, and Epping Walk ; three for the 
States Ambassador, from Theobald Park (2) and Chingford 
Walk ; two for the King of Spain's Agent, from West Henalt 
Walk and Chappell Henalt Walk ; two for the Queen of 
Bohemia's Agent, from Lowton Walk and Theobald Park ; 
two for the Queen and Crown of Sweden's Agent, from Lowton 
Walk and New Lodge Walk in Essex Forest ; two for the 
Duke of Saxony's Agent, from Enfield Great Park and Enfield 
Chase ; and two for the Duke of Florence's Agent, from 
Walthamstow Walk and Enfield Chase. 

At the same date the king ordered twenty-two bucks and one 
stag to be sent to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Recorder of 
the City of London. The bucks were mostly from the royal 
parks round London, but four came from Salcey Forest and one 
from Grafton Park in Northamptonshire ; the stag was from 
the Great Park at Ampthill. 

The following list of Christmas venison supplied to Charles I. 
in London is the last trace that we can find of the purveying 
of venison from the forests at large for the royal household. 

" Venizon brought to Whitehall against Christmas in anno 1640 for 
ye expence of his Majestie's house, and issued out by my Lords war- 
rants out of the severall forests, chaces and parks as followeth, viz. : 


To Whittle wood Forest . . .12 

To Cheut Forest . . . .04 

To Claringdon Parke . . . .08 

To New Forest . . . .12 

To South Beare . . . .02 

To Salcey Forest . . . -03 



To Rockingham Forest. . . .24 

To Holmeby Parke . . . .02 

To Grafton Parke . . . .04 

To Whichwood Forest . . . .06 

To Ampthill Parke . . . .04 

To Alice Holt Forest . . . . 03 

To Waybridge Parke . . . .04 

To Enfield Chace . . . .04 

To Somersham Parke and Chace . . 04 

To Windsor Great Parke . . .02 

To Higham Ferrers Parke . . .02 

To the Old Lodge Walk in Cranborn Chace . 02 

To New Lodge Walk in Windsor Forest . 02 

Totall ..... 104 does 

To Ampthill .... iij hindes 
To Loughton Walke . . . j hinde 

To Egham Walke . . j hinde 

Totall . ... 5 hindes " 

On January i8th, 1641-2, the king issued his licence to the 
"Noble French Lord, the Baron of Vieville," second son of 
the Marquis of Vieville, "to hunt and kill with his hounds or 
beagles the game of hares " within all forests, chases, parks, 
and warrens this side the Trent, for his recreation. 

On the re-establishment of the monarchy, Charles II. took 
various measures, not only to preserve forest timber, but also 
to restock several of the royal forests with deer. He also 
accepted various presents of foreign deer from abroad. In 
1661 ^54 was paid to Harman Splipting, " M r of the ship 
Angel Gabriell," for freight of stags from the Duke of Olden- 
burgh. A further sum of 176 8s. 8d. was disbursed for a 
parcel of deer sent to His Majesty by the Duke of Branden- 
burgh. During the same year 75 was paid in keepers' fees, at 
5^. per head, for 300 deer presented to the king by several 
noblemen and others, and delivered at Windsor and Waltham 
forests and Enfield Chase. 

In 1662, 15 was paid for "keeping German deer at Wan- 
stead" during the winter ; and 42 5.?. 6d. for three new wagons 
for moving deer and the rent of a place in which to keep them. 


In the same year .18 was disbursed for twelve " brasshorns" 
for the king's huntsmen. 

A brief undated account of all the forests within the Duchy 
of Lancaster during the reign of George I. names the 
following : 

Lancashire. Quarnmore, Blasedale, and Wyersdale ; "the 
inhabitants inclose divers partes thereof, and doe therein what 
seemes good to them." 

Amounderness ; the like. 

"The parke of Myerscough and the Keepership; lately granted 
to Benjamin Houghton, Esq., during pleasure; by the same 
grant he is steward of the forest of Quarnmore, and account- 
able to the king for the profits. The herbage of the park of 
Myerscough leased to Tildersley, Esquire." 

Yorkshire. The park of Ackworth, granted with the manor 
to the city of London, in which there is a covenant for keeping 
the park stored with deer, "near the Castle of Pontefract, 
which hath been and was (4 Charles I.) a most princely struc- 
ture," razed to the ground in the civil wars. 

The park of Pontefract, leased to Robert Monkton, Esquire, 
saving all great trees, etc. 

The forest of Pickering Castle and manor leased for 99 years 
to Mr. Dallowe, but not the forest. 

The forest of Knaresborough ; large encroachments. 

Staffordshire. The forest of Needwood ; granted to William, 
Duke of Devonshire, William, Marquis of Hartington, and 
Henry Lord Cavendish, with the offices of Steward of the 
House, and Constable of the Castle of Tutbury, Lieutenant of 
the Forest, Master of the Game, and Bailiff of the New 

Castlehey park ; granted for 99 years, in 1677, to Henry 
Seymor, Esquire. 

The parks of Hanbury and Tutbury ; granted for 99 years, 
in 1698, to Edward Vernon, Esq. 

Hylings and Russey parks ; granted for 99 years, in 1698, to 
Sir John Turton. 

Buckinghamshire. Olney park and Silwood coppice ; 
granted to James Earl of Northampton, for 99 years, in 1673. 

Hampshire. Samborne or How park ; granted in 1663 to 
Mrs. Mary Blagge, widow. 


Wilts. Braydon forest ; part belongs to the Exchequer and 
part to the Duchy. 

Middlesex. The Chase of Enfield ; granted in 1687 to Lord 
Lisburn for 50 years, with all the offices, from Master of the 
Game to Woodwards. 

In the early part of the eighteenth century Waltham Chase, 
Hants, was made notorious by the operations of a gang of 
deer-stealers, who were known throughout the district by the 
name of "Waltham Blacks," from their custom of blacking 
their faces for their nightly forays to escape identification. 
Like the deer stealers of Cranborne Chase, on the other side of 
the county, of the same period, they preferred to be known by 
the name of Hunters, and considered their actions fit to be 
ranked among deeds of bravery. So strange was their infatua- 
tion that, as Gilbert White tells us in his Natural History of 
Selborne, no young person was allowed to be possessed of 
either manhood or gallantry unless he was a " hunter." Their 
recklessness caused them eventually to be joined by men 
drawn from the coarser criminal classes, with the result that 
their hunting was not infrequently accompanied by acts of 
wanton violence. These crimes were met in 1722 by an Act of 
extreme severity. 

Although this lawless spirit originated and came to a head at 
Bishops Waltham, in Hampshire, more than one gang of reck- 
less poachers and smugglers, with blackened faces, styled 
themselves "Waltham Blacks," and traversed the country, 
especially the forest districts, robbing deer parks and fish 
ponds, and demanding money. They would brook no opposi- 
tion, and shot dead a young keeper of Windsor who merely 
put his head out of a lodge window to remonstrate. Sir John 
Cope, of Bramshill, in the north of Hampshire, threatened two 
men whom he thought he recognised in daylight as belonging 
to the gang with legal proceedings, and the next night over 
ve hundred of his young plantations were cut down. Windsor 
suffered severely from these marauders. In the year of the 
passing of the "Black Act " over forty of the gang were secured 
in that district. A special assize was held at Reading, when 
four of the worst offenders were executed and hung in chains 
in different parts of the forest, and the others were transported. 

During the disturbed period of the Civil War, and afterwards 


during the Commonwealth, deer-hunting by unauthorised 
persons became customary on Cranborne Chase, and was sub- 
sequently indulged in by many of the gentlemen of the neigh- 
bourhood as a kind of " brave diversion." In the earlier part 
of the eighteenth century, not a few persons of good breeding 
and birth thought it no disgrace to hunt or poach at night, to 
drive the deer into nets, and to enter into fierce combats with 
the keepers. Hutchins thus describes this "kind of knight- 
errantry amusement of the most substantial gentlemen of the 
neighbourhood " : 

" The manner of this amusement, as it was then called, was nearly 
as follows : A company of hunters, from four to twenty in number, 
assembled in the evening, dressed in cap, jack, and quarterstaff, and 
with dog's and nets. Having set the watchword for the night, and 
agreed whether to stand or run, in case they should meet the keepers, 
they proceed to Cranborne Chase, set their nets at such places where 
the deer are most likely to run, then let slip their dogs, well-used to 
the sport, to drive the deer into the nets, a man standing at each 
end to strangle the deer as soon as entangled. Thus they passed 
such a portion of the night as their success induced them, sometimes 
bringing off six or eight deer, good or bad, such as fell into the net, 
but generally of the latter sort, which was a matter of little import- 
ance to those gentlemen hunters who regarded the sport, not the 
venison. Frequent desperate bloody battles took place ; and in- 
stances have unfortunately happened where sometimes keepers, at 
other times hunters, have been killed. " 

A reproduction is given on the opposite page of an original 
painting, executed in 1720, of a group of these hunters with 
their bee-hive caps, wadded coats, quarterstaffs, and nets. 
The person in the centre is Mr. Henry Good, of Bower Chalk, 
described as a man " of rare endowments both of body and 
mind." It appears as a frontispiece to that rare book Mr. 
Chafin's Anecdotes of Cranborne Chase (1818), where the special 
details of the deer-hunter's equipment are thus described : 

"The cap was formed with wreaths of straw tightly bound 
together with split bramble-stalks, the workmanship much the same 
as that of the common bee-hives. The jacks were made of the 
strongest canvas, well quilted with wool to guard against the heavy 
blows of the quarterstaff, weapons which were much used in those 
days, and the management of them requiring great dexterity." 


Soon after the " gentlemen " who indulged in "this rude 
Gothic amusement" of night poaching had had their portraits 
taken in their protective suits, which somewhat resemble those 
worn by American football players, this kind of sport fell into 
abeyance among those of position, for the poor reason that it 
was patronised by the lower orders. Hutchins shrewdly 
remarks that when this change came, about 1730, its votaries 
ceased to be called deer-hunters, and were known as deer- 
stealers. So fierce became the affrays that the forester of the 
West Walk was killed in 1738, and shortly afterwards the like 
fate befell the forester or keeper of the Fernditch Walk. 

There was a serious pitched battle on Chettle Common, 
Cranborne Chase, on the night of December i6th, 1780, 
between the keepers and deer-stealers, the latter headed by a 
sergeant of dragoons, who were then quartered at Blandford. 
One of the dragoon's hands was severed from the arm by a 
hanger of a keeper, whilst one of the keepers was rendered 
permanently lame by the blow of a swindgel. In another 
affray in 1791 one of the deer-stealers was killed and ten were 
taken prisoners, and eventually transported for life. 

The only known relics of these terrible chase strifes are two 
of the straw caps and an example of that deadly weapon, the 
swindgel, secured by the keepers from the deer-stealers in 1791. 
They belong to Mr. Castleman, of Chettle Lodge, and were 
specially photographed for the Reliquary (N. S. i., 241), in 

The two straw caps or helmets, shown on Plate xin., are 
painted dark green to hinder their being noticeable at night- 
fall. The lining is thickly stuffed with wool. The longer arm 
of the swindgel is 14 in. long, whilst the shorter arm is only 
6 in., but has a circumference in the widest part of 4! in. The 
total weight is i Ib. 2 oz. ; it is made of a hard, close-grained 
wood. The swivelled hinges are of iron, and there is a leathern 
handle-loop to go round the wrist. 

Towards the close of the eighteenth century increased atten- 
tion was given to the importance of forests as yielding timber 
for the maintenance of the Navy. Commissioners were ap- 
pointed to inquire into the state and condition of the woods 
and forests belonging to the Crown. Between 1787 and 1793 
they issued seventeen reports. The first two reports, as well 


as the fourth, the eleventh, the twelfth, the sixteenth, and the 
seventeenth, are of a general character. The third deals with 
the Forest of Dean, the fifth with the New Forest, the sixth with 
forests of Alice Holt and Woolmer, the seventh with Salcey, the 
eighth with Whittlewood, the ninth with Rockingham, the tenth 
with Wichwood, the thirteenth with Bere, the fourteenth with 
Sherwood, and the fifteenth with Waltham in Essex. 

A Descriptive List of the Deer Parks and Paddocks of 'England ', 
by Mr. Joseph Whitaker, was published in 1892. The number 
of red or fallow deer, or both, in each enclosure, with the 
acreage, is set forth in each case, with other particulars of the 
more interesting examples. They vary in size from 4,000 
acres at Savernake to a single acre at Bagnall House. The 
beautiful park of Savernake, with the open country adjoining, 
presents the best picture of an old English forest. Bowood, 
which used to be an important part of Clarendon forest, is 
another good example of forest scenery. If the woods of fir 
and pine were removed, a great part of the New Forest offers 
much the same features that it did in days of old. For fine 
oaks the parks of Windsor, Cornbury, and Kedleston are pre- 
eminent, whilst Thoresby park, Notts, is not to be equalled 
anywhere for the variety and beauty of its timber. Spetchley 
park, Worcestershire, is fenced with old oak pales, fastened 
with oaken pegs after the original fashion. An ancient stout 
style of oak deer fence is also still maintained round Hardwick 
park, Derbyshire. 

No'fewer than fifty parks mentioned in Mr. Evelyn Shirley's 
delightful Account of English Deer Parks have ceased to con- 
tain deer since 1867, when that work was issued. 

The red deer are still found in a wild state in Devon and 
Somerset, on Exmoor forest and its confines. The growth of 
popularity attached to the hunting during the last half-century 
has materially added to their preservation and increase. There 
re also a few red deer on Martendale Fell, Westmoreland. 

Fallow deer still run wild in the New Forest and Epping 
forest, and a few stray deer are sometimes noticed in the 
woodlands of old Rockingham forest. It is a disputed point 
whether these last are a remnant of the old herds, or escapes 
from neighbouring parks. 

The roe deer, though few in number and decreasing, may 


yet be found in parts of Cumberland, Durham, and Northum- 
berland ; whilst in certain of the wooded combes on the Milton 
side of the vale of Blackmore, Dorset, they roam freely about 
under the protection of the landowners. They were introduced 
at Milton about the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

In 1884, six of the Milton roe deer were caught and trans- 
ported to Epping forest, in an endeavour to stock that district. 
A little later, Mr. E. N. Buxton obtained eight more roe deer 
from the same district ; they have slightly increased, and are 
supposed now to number about twenty-five. 

A few of these Milton deer have of recent years made their 
way into the New Forest ; they were first observed there about 
1870, but they do not number more than a dozen. 




NEARLY in the centre of the county of Northumberland 
stands the picturesque little town of Rothbury, "almost 
startling, from the beauty of its situation." The parish, 
which is over thirty miles in circuit, was once all forest land ; 
by far the greater part of it is much as it was in the days of 
mediaeval England, consisting chiefly of wild, uncultivated 

The maps still mark the tracts above and below the town 
as North Forest and South Forest. Many a writer on North- 
umberland, even some well-informed ones of recent times, have 
tried to realise how different this district must have looked 
when "clothed with trees and underwood." But, for the 
most part, this never was and never could have been the case 
with Rothbury forest of historic days. Nevertheless, the 
actual valley of the Coquet was, beyond doubt, far more 
closely wooded in early days than it is at the present time ; 
indeed, etymologists tell us that the very meaning of Rothbury 
is "the town in the clearing." 

Some twelve miles north-east of Rothbury lies the celebrated 
little town of Alnwick, on the Alne, which was also surrounded 
by a tract of country under forest law in the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries. The rolls of an eyre held at Newcastle 
in 1286, show that there were three bailiwicks in the forest 
of Northumberland ; one to the south of Rothbury and 
the Coquet, another to the north of Rothbury between the 
Coquet and the Alne, and a third immediately to the north of 
the Alne. There were four verderers to each bailiwick. 



The forest of Northumberland is repeatedly mentioned in 
the Patent and Close Rolls of Henry III., at times when there 
were general directions as to the forests at large. Thus in 1222, 
when orders were given to the sheriffs, verderers, and foresters 
throughout England as to the woodfall after the great storm, 
Daniel de Newcastle received particular instructions as warden 
of the forest of Northumberland. 

When forest perambulations were being undertaken in 1225, 
the duty of surveying the Northumberland forest was assigned 
to Roger de Morlay and Roger Bertram, with Nicholas de 
Hudham as clerk. In January, 1229, the sheriff, foresters, 
and regarders were instructed to make a regard before the end 
of the octave of the ensuing Easter, preparatory to the holding 
of an eyre by the justices. 

In 1281 a scheme for the disafforesting of Northumberland 
was drawn up. The inhabitants of the forest district were to 
pay an annual rental of 40 marks to the Crown for this privi- 
lege, in proportion to the value of their lands ; 23 marks were 
to be paid by those north of the Coquet, and the remaining 
17 marks by those to the south of the same river. 

In February, 1286, William de Vesey, Thomas de Norman- 
vill, and Richard de Crepping were nominated as justices to 
hold an eyre of the forest of Northumberland, to cover the 
period from the holding of the last eyre in the reign of 
Henry III. up to the date of the disafforesting. 

The barony of Alnwick was held during most of Edward I.'s 
reign by that great palatinate bishop, Anthony Bek, of Dur- 
ham. In 1299, a special commission was held to inquire into 
the breaking of the bishop's parks and chase at Alnwick, 
where his deer had been hunted and carried away, and arrows 
drawn upon his parkers, some of whom were wounded. But 
as the parks and chases of this district ceased to be under forest 
law from 1281, their history must not be pursued any further. 

Henry Algernon Percy, the sixth Earl of Northumberland, 
died without issue in 1537. The family of his brother, 
through the attainder of their father, who had been executed 
for his support of the Pilgrimage of Grace, were incapable 
of succession. The earldom, therefore, became extinct, and 
the chief part of the estates passed to the Crown, and thus 
continued for twenty years. 



Although the forest district, with its parks and warrens, did 
not come under forest law by this reversion to the Crown, 
nevertheless a word or two are admissible as to its governance 
under Henry VIII. A survey that was taken in August, 1539, 


of Rothbury and its members, gives Sir Cuthbert Ratcliffe as 
master of the game in the forests, chases, parks, and warrens 
of Alnwick, and John Heeson as bow-bearer, with many other 
masters and keepers of different parks. Cuthbert Carnabie, 
master of the game in Warkworth park, was also constable of 


Alnwick Castle, as well as master of the game. Among his 
privileges, Carnabie was entitled to as many salmon taken in 
the Coquet as would serve him for keeping his house ; but he 
had to pay 6d. for each salmon, and zd. for each "gylse" 
or young salmon. 

A perambulation of Rothbury forest shows that the master 
of game received 7 a year ; whilst each of the three keepers or 
foresters received a id. a day, in addition to blownwood, and 
firewood, together with "one stag in summer and one hind in 
winter for the makyng of the houndes." The keepers of all the 
Alnwick parks received ^3 6s. 8d. a year, together with two 
horse-gates, a buck in summer and a doe in winter. 

It may here, too, be mentioned that an account of the Earl 
of Northumberland's parks and games in this county, taken 
early in the reign of Henry VIII., shows that there were in 
Holn Park 879 deer ; in Cawledge (or College) Park, 586 ; in 
Warkworth Park, 150; and in Acklington Park, 144. All of 
these were fallow deer, but outside the parks, in the unenclosed 
parts of Rothbury forest, were 153 red deer. In his other 
parks in Cumberland and Yorkshire, the earl had 3,659 head 
of fallow and red deer. Holn Park, on the west side of the 
castle with the Alne running through it, was at this time 
enclosed within a stone wall, said to be twenty miles in com- 
pass ; Cawledge Park, to the south of the castle, was six miles 
in compass. 

Queen Mary restored the barony and its estates, in 1557, to 
Thomas Percy, reviving the earldom, and the old forest of 
Northumberland passed again into a subject's hands. 


At the time of the Norman invasion, the great forest of 
Inglewood stretched from Penrith, on the south confines of the 
county, to Carlisle, about twenty miles to the north. It is 
described in the Chronicle of Lanercost as having been "a 
goodly great forest, full of woods, red deer and fallow, wild 
swine, and all manner of wild beasts." 

Reginald Lacy obtained a grant from King John in 1203 
for himself and Ada, his wife, daughter and co-heir of Hugh 
de Morvill, of the forestership of Cumberland. In the follow- 


ing year he paid the considerable sum of 900 marks, as well as 
five palfreys, to have livery of the property of the said Ada, 
and to enjoy the keepership of the forests of the county in as 
ample a way as Hugh de Morvill had held it. Reginald died in 
1214, and Ada, his widow, gave a fine of 500 marks for livery 
of her inheritance including the forestership. The widow 
married Thomas de Multon, who paid 100 fine and one 
palfrey to the Crown, soon after the accession of Henry III., 
to hold the office of forestkeeper in right of his wife. Thomas 
de Multon, who was frequently sheriff of Cumberland, died 
in 1240, and is named as forest keeper in various documents, 
such as that generally issued after the great storm of 1222. 
In 1229 Thomas de Multon received orders to supply Roger 
de Quincy with two stags out of the Cumberland Forest as a 
gift from the king. Two years later Multon was instructed to 
prohibit the foresters from entertaining or affording hospitality 
to those passing through the county forest. 

Several manors within the forest were granted, in 1242, to 
the kings of Scotland in satisfaction of their claims on the 
northern counties of England, but they were resumed at a later 
period by Edward I. 

At an eyre, held in the reign of Henry III., Robert, Bishop 
of Carlisle, was fined the heavy sum of 6g 6s. for depreda- 
tion of the herbage of Cumberland Forest ; but this sum was 
forgiven to his executors in the next reign. 

With the beginning of Edward I.'s reign, the term Forest of 
Cumberland gave way, for the most part, to the title of Ingle- 
wood Forest; but the latter title had a more restricted significa- 
tion, as the older county forest included several manors be- 
tween the river Eden and the parish of Alston. 

In 1274 Edward I. ordered an inquest to be held whether or 
no Alexander, King of Scotland, and his men of Penrith and 
Salkeld ought to have, and have been accustomed to have, 
common of pasture in any part of the park of Plumpton, 
which was enclosed in the time of Henry III., and, if so, 
within what bounds ; and also to make like inquiry as to the 
King of Scotland and his men having any claim to housebote 
and heybote in any part of Inglewood Forest. Plumpton Park 
was disafforested in the time of Henry VIII. 

Richard le Escat, one of the Inglewood foresters, killed 


William, son of Elias de Grenerigg, in the forest in 1280 ; but 
he obtained a royal pardon, as it was proved that William was 
caught in the act of venison trespass, and that he was slain on 
refusal to be arrested. 

An eyre was held in 1285. The roll show that the forest was 
divided into three bailiwicks, with twelve regarders for each. 
There were twelve verderers for the whole forest. One of 
the more noteworthy presentments at this eyre, cited in full 
by Mr. Turner in Forest Pleas, was the charge that Isabel de 
Clifford, who held the park of Whinfell in Westmoreland, had 
two deer-leaps which were nuisances to the forest, one of them 
being only a league from Inglewood Forest, and the other 
only a league and a half. The justices for this eyre were 
William de Vesey, Thomas de Normanvill and Richard de 

William de Vesey, whilst justice of the forest beyond Trent, 
took to the king's use in 1289 a hundred bucks, which he 
delivered to Peter de Chaumpvent, steward of the household ; 
fifty of these bucks came from Inglewood Forest. He received 
a formal quittance for taking them in September, 1290, when 
his son, John de Vesey, succeeded him as justice of the 

Attachment courts were held in this forest, as was customary, 
every forty-second day. There is an Inglewood attachment 
roll extant of the year 1293. 

A commission was issued in 1298 to inquire, by the oath of 
foresters and verderers of Inglewood, in the presence of 
Robert de Clifford, justice of that forest, whether the abbot of 
Holmcoltram had sufficient pasture without the forest launds 
for his stud, draught oxen, and swine, or not. The abbot 
asserted that he had chartered rights of common for these pur- 
poses in all places in the forest between the rivers Caldew and 
Alne. Certain of these launds had recently been enclosed, for 
the king's profit, by Geoffrey de Nevill and William de Vesey, 
heretofore justices of that forest. 

Pardon was granted in January, 1300, to John, Bishop of 
Carlisle, and his men for taking a buck in this forest. In the 
same month, power was granted by the Crown to Robert de 
Clifford, forest justice, and two others, to divide up the king's 
wastes in the wood of Allerdale, within the forest bounds, into 


numbers of acres to be held by tenants at yearly rental to the 
Exchequer ; also to sell wood, green or dry, by view of the 
foresters and other officials. 

Among the various details pertinent to this forest on the 
Patent Rolls of Edward II., the following may be mentioned. 
John de Harbela, king's yeoman, obtained a grant, in 1312, of 
the bailiwick in the forest of Inglewood, which Thomas de 
Multon held, and which on account of a forfeiture he had 
incurred, was in the king's hands. Two years later Thomas 
de Verdon was appointed forester in the place of Harbela. In 
1315 William de Dacra was appointed steward of this forest 
by the Crown during pleasure. In the same year a com- 
mission was issued to inquire into the carrying away of certain 
of the king's falcons from the eyrie in the forest of Inglewood. 
Henry de Panetria, at the request of Queen Isabella, was 
granted for life, in 1316, the bailiwick of the forestership of 
" Gaytsheles," in this forest. Grant was made, in 1317, of 
pasture for their beasts in Inglewood Forest to the nuns of 
Ermynthwait, in consequence of the severe loss that had been 
inflicted on them by the king's enemies. John de Crumbwell 
was warden of Inglewood in 1318, when acquittance was 
granted to Robert de Tymparon, an agister within the forest, 
for .4 IQS. ^\d. for pannage from the date of his being an 
agister in the time of Edward I., which sum had been paid 
into the hands of Robert de Barton, late keeper of the king's 
victuals in the park of Carlisle. In the same year, John de 
Rithre, king's yeoman, was appointed steward of the forest 
during pleasure. 

The Exchequer accounts of this reign give the expenses in- 
curred by Robert, the squire, for a summer hunt for the king 
in Inglewood Forest, which lasted for four days. His servant 
was paid \2d. a day, whilst an allowance of \d. a day each was 
made for ten greyhounds and for three bercelets, or hounds 
that hunted by scent. 

When the reign of Edward III. is reached, the record entries 
relative to the forest of Inglewood, its records of Gaystall or 
Gatesgill, and Penrith, and its launds of Plumpton, Hesket, 
Braithwait, Ivetanfield, and Middlescough, etc., become so 
frequent that a considerable and interesting volume on its 
annals might readily be compiled. Here there is only space 


for a few brief extracts from the less known and uncalendered 

An Exchequer Roll of 1335-6, when Richard de Nevill was 
keeper, shows that the laund of Plumpton, of which Roger de 
Wastedale was the agister, charged 6d. a head for horses, ^d. 
for draught oxen, 3^. for cattle, and 2d. for stirks. Sheep 
were only allowed on two or three of the launds, and were 
charged at ^d. a score. The agistments of the year produced 
26 i$s. q.d. The letting of the lodges of the forest brought in 
29-$-. 8d. The ward of Penrith commuted the fence month fines 
by a payment of i6.r. 8d. from six townships, and the ward of 
Gaystall by a payment of 23^. 8d. from fourteen townships. 
The pannage money was but small, indicating a decided 
paucity of woods ; only g^d. from Penrith ward, and 6.r. $^d. 
from Gaystall ward. Among the attachments of Gaystall 
were 6d. for a horse, 2d. for two stirks, and 1 2d. for pigs. 

There is another very full agistment and attachment roll 
of 1375-6, wherein there are various fines, from id. to i2d., for 
vert offences. 

The accounts of Richard, Earl of Salisbury, for this forest, 
in the reign of Henry VI., are of a good deal of interest. The 
returns of the frequent attachment courts are confined to vert 
offences ; the fine for a cartload of wood was usually 2^., and for 
a wagon /\d. The fence month fine money in Gaystall ward 
was 2O.r., contributed by twelve townships, far the heaviest 
share being 6s. 8^. from the city of Carlisle. The like fine for 
Penrith ward amounted to 13^. 8d., of which Penrith it- 
self paid 6s. 8d. The dead wood of Gaystall ward pro- 
duced iu., and that of Penrith 2os. The small amount of 
actual wood within this wide sweep of forest is again shown by 
the lowness of the pannage fees, which only amounted to 
6.r. o\d. in the two wards. References in forest accounts to 
churches or chapels (save in the matter of tithes) are quite 
exceptional ; but in these rolls certain rents of lands at 
Grueythwaite (Greenthwaite) are assigned to a chapel there, 
which had recently been rebuilt. 

A survey of Inglewood Forest, taken on 8th August, 1539, 
mentions Sir Henry Wharton as master of game, and William 
Hoton, Esquire, as bow-bearer. The officers in the sub-forests 
of Ashdale and Wastedalehead were Sir Thomas Wharton, 


master of game, Richard Vikars and Thomas Nycholson, 
foresters of Ashdale, and William Fletcher and Nicholas 
Hunter, foresters of Wastedalehead. The sub-forest of West- 
wood had the same master of game, and Micah Avon bow- 
bearer, with Richard Dykes and Thomas Wilson keepers. 
The sub-forest of Nicholl had Sir William Musgrave as master 
of game. The keepers of Wastedale had a hart in summer and 
a hind in winter, equally divided between them. 

An expense roll of this forest for the first year of Elizabeth is 
chiefly occupied with the details of repairs done to the " court 
houses " of Penrith, Sowerby, and Gaystall. Repairs were 
also done to the leads, and the glass and iron of the windows 
of Kidkirk chancel at a charge of 3 6s. Sd. 

Charles II., on his marriage with Katharine of Braganza, 
settled on her, as part of the royal dower, the forest of Ingle- 

In 1696, the forest of Inglewood was granted by the Crown 
to William Bentinck, first Earl of Portsmouth, as an appurten- 
ance of the honor of Penrith. 

In Jefferson's Cumberland, published in 1840, it is stated 
that the forest or swainmote courts for the seigniory of Hesket 
were still held annually on June nth in the open air, on the 
great north road to Carlisle, the place being marked by a stone 
table placed before a thorn called Court Thorn ; at this court a 
variety of annual dues were paid to the lord of the forest. 

On Wragmire Moss, in the same parish, a well-known 
ancient oak, spoken of as the last tree of Inglewood Forest, fell 
''from sheer old age " on June i3th, 1823. 


A considerable tract of wild land in this county was rendered 
subject to the fierce rule of the early forest laws in the time of 
Henry II. and John ; but all this was disafforested by the 
Forest Charter, 1217, which only recognised as forests those 
tracts of country which had been in that condition when 
Henry II. came to the throne. In 1225, grave complaint was 
lodged by the knights and proved men of Westmoreland that 
certain magnates of the county were continuing to treat the 
disafforested demesne as though still subject to forest fines 


and penalties, to the great injury of the inhabitants. There- 
upon letters patent was issued by the Crown sternly repro- 
bating such action, addressed in the first place to William de 
Lancaster, Baron of Kendal, with duplicates to Robert de 
Vezpont, sheriff of Westmoreland, to Earl Warren for the 
wood of Incelemor, and to Matilda de Lascy for the wood of 

It was doubtless in consequence of this royal reminder 
that John de Vezpont, when he succeeded his father three 
years later, granted to the lords of the manor of Warcop, 
Sandford, Burton, and Hilton, in this county, freedom from 
foresters' puture, and from all things that might be demanded 
of that nature. 


There is no mention of any forest of the county of Durham 
in the lists of royal forests temp. Henry III., and there was 
certainly no district under forest laws throughout by far the 
greater part of Durham. The forest of Teesdale is, however, 
occasionally named in the latter part of the fifteenth and in the 
first half of the sixteenth century. The number of fallow and 
red deer in this forest in 1538-9 has already been cited. 

In the western angle of the county, where it is separated 
from Yorkshire on the south by the river Tees, and where it 
reaches out to both Cumberland and Westmoreland, Durham 
was in contiguity with forest districts of other counties, and 
forest laws probably there prevailed over a small area. An 
extensive township of the old widespread parish of Middleton- 
in-Teesdale still bears the reduplicated name of Forest-and- 
Frith ; it begins 4! miles north-west from Middleton, and ends 
on the borders of Westmoreland, near the sources of the Tees. 
At the furthest extremity of the wild district of Forest-and- 
Frith is Harwood, the very name denoting a tract of ancient 
woodland. Various of the smaller place-names and field names 
have reference to deer, and a few to the former presence of wolf 
and boar. 

The large parish of Stanhope, immediately to the north of 
Middleton, has a western division termed Forest Quarter ex- 
tending to the borders of Cumberland, just above Harwood, 
and including Weardale. Leland, writing in the time of 



Henry VIII., said: " There resorte many rede dere, stragelers, 
to the mountaines of Weredale." The forest of Weardale 
was held by the Bishops of Durham ; the 
Boldon Book, of the twelfth century, affords 
many interesting particulars as to the hunt- 
ing regulations of the district, but as it was 
not royal forest it would be foreign to our 
purpose to cite them. 

Whatever small portion of Durham may 
at some time have been under forest law 
could only have attained that position 
through the overlap of some forest at its 
western extremity, whose administration 
pertained to another county. 

In the crypt of Durham Cathedral is an 
unusually fine memorial slab of the latter 
half of the thirteenth century, which must 
have marked the interment of some chief 
forester or warden of a northern forest. 
On the sinister side of the cross is a 
sheathed sword with the sword belt twisted 
round it. On the dexter is a long bow- 
string, with the arrow fitted in the notch 
and the head showing on the further side 
of the sword. On the bow rests what 
appears to be the distinctive cap of the 
master of the forest, whilst in the angle 
above, between the bow and the string, is 
a small paddle-shaped implement, which 
may possibly indicate water or fishing 



THE forests of Lancashire, which were at one time very 
considerable, were chiefly situated in the high region on 
the east side of the county. In their earlier history they 
may be divided into two portions, namely, those in the ancient 
house of Lancaster, which were subject soon after the Con- 
quest to Roger de Poictou ; and those in the great fee of 
Clitheroe, subject at the same time to the family of Lacy. 
After the marriage of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, with Alice 
de Lacy in 1310, all the forests of the county came under the 
one head of Foresta de Lancaster, and pertained to the earldom, 
and afterwards to the Duchy of Lancaster. But quite a century 
before this date all the various forests were frequently described 
under the common denominator of the county town. The more 
important forests were within the hundred of Lonsdale ; those 
of Wyersdale, Quernmoor, Bleasdale, Myerscough, and Ful- 
wood were all within the very extensive ancient parish of 
Lancaster, though the last three were in the hundred jurisdic- 
tion of Amounderness. In the hundred of Blackburn was the 
great forest of Blackburnshire, of which Rossendale, Bowland, 
Pendle, and Trawden were the subdivisions. In the hundred 
of West Derby was the forest of that name, often termed 
Derbyshire, with the parks of Croxteth and Toxteth. 

In Harland's edition of Baines' Lancashire (1868-70) there is 
a certain amount of scattered, meagre information pertaining 
to these very considerable tracts of the county ; but the history 
of the forests of Lancashire remains yet to be written. The 
material available would readily make an interesting work of 
one or two volumes. All that is here attempted is to give a 
few scattered facts which have not for the most part hitherto 
appeared in print. 



In the first year of King John, Benedict Gernet held the 
serjeanty of the forest of the whole county, for which he 
rendered an annual payment of 26 13$. <\d. In the same 
year (1200) the king granted leave by charter to the knights 
and freeholders dwelling in his forest of the honor of Lan- 
caster to use their own woods as they willed, declaring them 
exempt from the regard of the forest. For these privileges the 
knights and freeholders paid into the Exchequer, in the follow- 
ing year, the considerable sum of .283 17^. In 1206, John 
conferred the keepership of the Lancaster forests on Gilbert 
Fitz-Reinfred, one of his favourite barons. 

John granted to the house of the lepers of St. Leonard's, 
Lancaster, considerable privileges in the forest of Lonsdale, 
where they might graze their beasts, gather dead wood'for fuel, 
and have timber sufficient for the repairs of their dwellings. 
Some time before 1220, Henry III. appointed Roger Gernet, 
forester-of-fee of Lonsdale, to the general keepership ; in that 
year the lepers petitioned the king for relief from the exactions 
of Gernet, who claimed an ox from them in recompense for 
their winter agistment, and a cow for the summer pasturing ; 
nor would he allow them to take wood for fuel or house repairs. 

A writ was at once directed to the sheriff of Lancaster 
instructing him to stay the exactions of Roger Gernet, and 
a confirmation charter was sent to the lepers, allowing all 
their privileges without any payment in money or kind. From 
this and from a subsequent slightly amended confirmation we 
learn that the lepers were originally indebted to Henry II. for 
their forest favours, and that John merely ratified his father's 
grant. Nine years later the pasturage rights of the lepers 
were restricted to a certain defined area of the forest. In 1227 
Roger Gernet was confirmed in the custody of Lancaster 

A perambulation of the Lancashire forests was undertaken 
in 1228, on the king's precept, by William Blundel, Thomas 
de Bethune, and ten other knights, who said that the whole 
forests of Lancaster ought, according to the Forest Charter, to 
be disafforested, save Quernmore, Conet, Bleasdale, Fulwood, 
Toxteth, Derby, and Burtonwood. In the following year a 
confirmation of John's charter to the knights and freeholders of 
Lancaster was granted by Henry III. for the enjoyment of the 


neighbouring woods under certain restrictions. This was 
probably done to prevent the forests of Wyersdale and Myers- 
cough, adjoining the county town, being disafforested, as was 
evidently the intention of the inquest of 1228, wherein they 
are not named as exceptions to the general disafforesting. 
Wyersdale forest, which took its name from the river, con- 
tained about 20,000 acres ; Quernmore, to the north of it, 
about 7,000 acres ; Myerscough, about 2,200 acres, skirted the 
great north road from Preston to Lancaster ; whilst Bleasdale 
was coextensive with the township of that name. 

By charter of 3Oth June, 1267, Henry III. granted to his 
son Edmund the honor and castle of Lancaster, together with 
the vaccaries and forests of Wyersdale and Lonsdale, etc. But 
they were to be considered forests, and not chases of private 
ownership ; and hence were entitled to be ruled by forest pleas 
held by the king's justices. 

Long notice was given of the rarely held eyre of justices for 
forest pleas, proposed to be held for the county of Lancaster at 
Easter, 1287. The first summons was issued for it in October, 
1286, when it was stated that the justices would be William 
de Vesey, Thomas de Normanvill, and Richard de Crepping. 
But this arrangement was subsequently cancelled. On 8th 
February the sheriff was instructed to order a preliminary 
regard of the forest to be taken, and ten days later he was 
ordered to issue summonses for an eyre to be held a month 
after Easter before Robert Brabazon and William Wyther. 
At these pleas forty-eight cases of venison trespass were pre- 
sented. In at least one case, that of Nicholas de Lee, the 
chartered privileges of King John were pleaded in defence of 
hunting in the king's forest. 

There are various records extant of attachment courts of the 
forests of Quernmore and Wyersdale, which were under joint 
jurisdiction, temp. Edward I. The offences were chiefly venison 
trespass. The courts were always held on a Thursday, and 
presided over by the two verderers, John le Gentil and John 
de Caton. There are records of eight courts held in 1299, nine 
in 1300, and four in 1301. 

The venison trespasses for this and other years show that 
there were both fallow and red deer in the Lancaster forests of 
this date, though the latter were the more numerous, and the 


former more especially found in parks. The foresters reported 
that Thomas, son of Adam de Berewyk, clerk, wounded at 
night a certain buck within the township of Lancaster, and 
followed it up with bow and arrows, but the deer escaped and 
recovered. Immediately after the deed, Thomas entered into 
the service of certain magnates outside the county of Lan- 
caster. The foresters were ordered to try and find and attach 

On Thursday, after the feast of St. Katherine, 1293, a certain 
buck was found strangled in the forest of Claughton. An 
inquest was held, and the jury found that a certain white dog 
whose they knew not followed the said buck from Quern - 
more to Langlandebroke ; that one Thomas de Harrey, coming 
that way, struck the buck on the back and broke its back ; that 
Thomas immediately after fled, and they were not able to find 
him. The flesh and horns of the buck were given, in accord- 
ance with the Forest Charter, to the lepers of Lancaster. 

At a court held at Easter, 1299, before the verderer, Ingel- 
ram de Gynet, Roger de Croft, and many others of the 
Ingelram family, were presented for hunting with greyhounds 
in Wyersdale ; and Ralph de Bray for killing a doe with 
arrows and carrying it off. The offenders were committed, to 
use modern parlance, to the next forest pleas, but admitted to 
bail. At Trinity, in the same year, the attachment court was 
attended by three foresters and twenty-four sub-foresters ; four 
of the sub-foresters held their office by right of service, and are 
entered as defeodo. 

At the court of attachment held on Thursday after the 
festival of St. Barnabas, Harry, the parker of Quernmore, 
swore that the Sunday after the feast of St. Cecilia he was stand- 
ing in the park and saw through the park pales Richard de 
Thirnum and Richard Cokker kill a doe and carry it off. He 
followed them, and shot arrows at them, so that they fled, leaving 
the venison, which was carried to Lancaster Castle. At a 
later court in the same year it was presented that the foresters 
found two men armed with bows and arrows in the forest 
of Quernmore, and two shepherds with their staffs with them, 
and that all four were taken prisoners to Lancaster. 

In the next few years there were various presentments for 
taking harts and hinds. In 1306 several offenders came by 


night with greyhounds into the park of Quernmore, but being 
perceived by the foresters they fled, leaving behind them five 
greyhounds. These hounds were caught by the foresters, who 
took them to Lancaster castle. 

Pleas of the forest were held at Lancaster on Monday, after 
the feast of St. Peter, 1334, before William le Blount and 
Henry de Hamburg, justices of the forest, assigns of Henry, 
Earl of Lancaster. 

The names of the verderers are first entered on the rolls ; 
the two for " Derbyshire" (i.e. West Derby) were Henry de 
Atherton de Ayntre and John de Gredleye, but their term of 
office had apparently expired, for they were removed, and 
Richard de Alvandeley and Richard de Eltonheved were 
sworn to that office in their stead. 

Two new verderers were also sworn for the forest or hundred 
of Amounderness, whilst in the hundred of Lonsdale one of 
the two old verderers was removed and replaced by a new 

The names of fifteen foresters of Amounderness and Lonsdale 
are entered on the roll, but only three appeared, for the re- 
mainder had died since the last eyre of the justices, and there 
was no one to answer for them. The three who came said that 
they appeared for themselves and the other foresters, and that 
they had no rolls nor indictments to present, for the verderers 
and their heirs kept such rolls in their own possession, as they 
were prepared to prove on the oath of their officials. 

The prior of St. Mary's, Lancaster, claimed two cartloads 
of dead wood for fuel out of the Lancashire forests, save in 
Wyersdale, on any day he liked in the year, and free ingress 
and egress in the forest for a cart and two horses, or with two 
carts and four horses to seek for wood, according to charter of 
Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, 1260. The prior also claimed tithe 
of hunting and pannage. 

The burgesses of Lancaster also made their claim for fuel 
and building wood under a charter by Edmund ; and the 
burgesses of Preston made like claims with regard to Fulwood 
forest. The various claims of the abbot of Furness were 
enforced by the production of charters of John, Henry III., 
and Earl Edmund, which were duly enrolled. 

The tenants of the town of Broughton in Amounderness 





claimed to have, from time immemorial, common pasture in the 
forest of Fulwood for all kinds of animals save goats through- 
out the year, except for six weeks during the acorn season 
(pessone), and for the four weeks of the fence or close month, 
by payment of icxr. at Michaelmas to the honor of Lancaster. 
Eventually it was agreed that the tenants of Broughton should 
have common pasture for their animals in Fulwood forest, 
save for sheep and goats, and for pigs, except in the fence 
month and in the six weeks of acorns. The considerable sum 
of ,14 6.T. Sd. was claimed as due to the lord for trespasses 
with animals in Fulwood forest by the men of Broughton up 
to the following Michaelmas ; but this was remitted. Hence- 
forth IO.T. was to be paid by them at Michaelmas. 

The foresters for the hundred of Derby enrolled at the 
last eyre numbered twelve, but the first nine were dead, 
and there was no one to represent them. The last three names 
were the survivors. They appeared, but said, like those of 
Amounderness and Lonsdale, that they had no rolls to produce, 
as they were always delivered to the verderers. 

It was upwards of thirty years since the last forest pleas had 
been heard, and the justices were only able to obtain two of the 
verderers' rolls for the intervening period, several having died 
and left neither heirs not executors. 

The successive keepers or master foresters of West Derby, 
since the last eyre, were also called upon to lay their rolls 
before the justices. But of these documents they obtained 
very few. 

Ralph de Monneysilver had been keeper for five years, and 
died, leaving no heirs nor executors nor lands in the county. 

Thomas Banastre was keeper for seven years. On his 
death, though he had lands in the county, no one came to 
restore the rolls ; but eventually Adam Banastre, his relative 
and heir, appeared, and made fine for the rolls. 

Richard de Hoghton was keeper for three years. On his 
death his son Richard eventually delivered the rolls. 

Thomas Tanner was keeper for a year. On his death, 
though he had land in the county, no one restored the rolls, 
and distraint was ordered to be made. 

Simon de Baldlyston was keeper for six years ; he died in 
1325, but no one came with the rolls. 


William Gentil, who survived, was next keeper ; he restored 
the rolls. 

Ralph de Bikerstach was keeper for four years. On his 
death no one restored the rolls, and distraint was made on his 

Edmund de Neville, who survived, had been keeper for 
three years. His rolls were burnt by the Scots and enemies 
of the king ; and he was ready to make fine for them. 

At this iter there were three separate juries sworn for Lons- 
dale, Amounderness, and West Derby, numbering respectively 
16, 15, and 12. 

The venison presentments of the Lancashire forests were 
numerous. Thomas de Halghton was charged with hunting 
in the park of Quernmore at Ascensiontide with two grey- 
hounds, one white and one red, and taking two bucks. 
Another charge specified the colour of the greyhounds, one 
white, and the other red, with a black muzzle (cum nigro 

The accounts of Henry de Hoghton, master forester of 
Blackburnshire, for 1423, are extant. They show under 
Penhull (Pendle) that no business was transacted that year 
at the woodmote, held at Clitheroe ; that the court perquisites 
from the woodmotes held at Ightenhill (otherwise Bromley) 
amounted to 12s. 2d. ; that turf, stone and herbage were farmed 
at a rental of 26s. 8d. ; and that 14^. lod. was received for 
escape of beasts. Under Rossendale, 7^. yd. was received in 
woodmote perquisites held at Accrington, and $s. id. for per- 
quisites of halmotes held at the same place. The woodmotes 
for Trowden were held at Colne, and other woodmotes were 
held at Totyngton. The total receipts of the master forester 
were 7 is. nd. The expenses, which were chiefly foresters' 
wages, amounted to 6 2s. 2d., leaving a balance for the Crown 
of 19.$-. gd. 

In the same year, the collectors of Blackburnshire accounted 
for the receipt of 130 15-$-. io\d. from farm rents, herbage, etc., 
in Pendle; 14 12^. 2d. from Rossendale; ,23 13$. $d. from 
Trowden ; 18 $s. 4^. from Totyngton ; and 7 i2s. from 
Hodleston. The total receipts amounted to 263 i6s. *j\d. 

Henry de Hoghton made separate returns as master forester 
of Bowland, entered under Harrop, Daxsholt, and Chipping 


wards, in each of which woodmotes were held. The receipts 
were 65 iqs. 4^. The heaviest charge under wages was 
6 13-s 1 . 4^. to the steward of the master forester. The parker 
of Laythegryme received 6s. 8d. for cutting deer-browse in the 
winter, which is said to have been necessary that season. The 
expenses of repairing the pales of the forest and fencing the 
bounds amounted to 5 19.9. lod. 

Sir John Stanley, father of Thomas, first Lord Stanley, was 
appointed chief steward of Blackburnshire in 1424. He was 
also made master forester of Blackburnshire and Salfordshire. 
His accounts for the latter office for 1434-5 are extant, but are 
of a very simple description ; they included 2id. perquisites of 
the woodmotes held at Colne. 

The rolls of Quernmore and Wyersdale are the only ones 
that we have found which make mention of a court held in 
a chapel. In 1477 two swainmotes for the Wharmore division 
were held in the chapel of Wyersdale, and another in the 
following year on the feast of St. Wilfrid. 

In 1501 the Crown issued a series of warrants to the Earl of 
Derby and others, directing that " putre money" or "forester 
fee " be paid by the tenants to the foresters and keepers of the 
forests of Penhull, Rossingdale, Acrington, and Trowden, in 
Lancashire, according to the old custom and use, as set forth 
in the account books of the duchy. It was stated that the old 
records also showed that the foresters had committed "divers 
displeasures and annoyances against the tenants, theire wyfes 
and servants in sundrywise by theire coming to theire houses for 
theire meate and drink," and that on the tenants' complaint the 
duchy had agreed that the tenants should pay yearly 12 13^. ^d. 
towards the foresters' wage, in recompense for the meat and 
drink which was no longer to be claimed. This composition 
was paid yearly until 1461, when for certain special causes 
this payment was put in respite for a certain season. The sum 
of 119 6s. 8d. had been thus respited. Stringent orders were 
issued for the future payment of this fee by the tenants. 

A like warrant was issued with regard to the foresters of 
Holland, in Yorkshire, in which case the fee had not been paid 
since 1484, and the sum respited amounted to 357 14^. 2d. 

Rossendale, the largest of the four great divisions of the 
forest of Blackburnshire, with an area of upwards of thirty 


square miles, was disafforested, on the petition of the inhabi- 
tants, about the beginning of the sixteenth century. A decree 
of the duchy for the year 1550, whereby the rights of a parish 
church were conferred upon the chapel of Rossendale, refers 
to the bill of supplication for the disafforesting as having been 
performed forty-four years previously, when the Crown came 
to the conclusion that the land would be used for good purpose 
if the deer were removed. The deer were accordingly killed, 
and the land let out to the inhabitants. The decree of 1550 
states that whereas before the disafforesting there were only 
about twenty persons resident in the forest, the population then 
numbered about one thousand of all ages. 

Although there was considerable disafforesting in the county 
as early as the end of Henry VII. 's reign in Blackburnshire, 
the Crown deer were preserved with some strictness in other 
parts of the county palatine long after the Restoration. 
William III., in 1697, issued his warrant, countersigned by 
the Earl of Stamford, as chancellor of the duchy, to the 
master foresters, bow-bearers, or keepers of the forests, chases, 
and parks of Lancashire, complaining of great destruction of 
deer, and ordering that precise accounts were to be returned 
yearly of the number of deer killed, and on what authority, as 
well as of the stock remaining, etc. 




THIS forest district was known in early times as Pickering 
Lythe or Liberty, for which the term Pickering Vale 
seems to have been almost an equivalent at the beginning 
of the fourteenth century. But Pickering Vale possibly only 
included the cultivated or pasturage portions, and not the 
wastes of the actual deer forest. The antiquity of the wood- 
land and stretches of the forest is clear, for the silva of Domes- 
day was sixteen miles long and four broad, and was, perhaps, 
co-terminous with the whole soke. 

The constable of the castle of Pickering was always also the 
keeper of the forest and the steward of the manor. The forest 
had a great repute for its wild boars about the beginning of the 
thirteenth century. In 1214 Peter Fitzherbert, who was con- 
stable of the castle, received orders from King John to render 
assistance to master Edward, the royal huntsman, who was 
coming with his hounds to kill wild boars in Pickering Forest, 
and to see that the meat was well salted and in safe custody. 
Later in the same year the king warned the constable of the 
coming of Wyott, another of his huntsmen, with his men and the 
royal hounds for a like purpose. The boars were to be sought 
.in a certain part of the forest where the king was wont to hunt 
them, and Peter was again to see that the meat was well salted, 
and the heads soaked in wine. The boar's head was one of the 
oldest standard dishes for an English Christmas, and as this 
order was given in November, the wine-soaked Pickering 
boars' heads probably graced the Christmas board at Worcester, 
where John kept that feast in the year 1214. 



Henry III., in July, 1225, sent letters to the sheriff of York- 
shire and the constable of Scarborough to inform them that he 
was sending two of his huntsmen, Master Guy and John the 
Fool (le Fol), with hounds to take red deer in Pickering 
forest. The sheriff was ordered to pay four marks, two for 
the expenses, and two for salt for preparing the venison. In 
September the sheriff received further instructions to forward 
to London, with all speed, in good carts, the venison taken by 
Guy and John in Pickering forest, there to be delivered to 
the safe custody of Odo, the goldsmith of Westminster, till 
the king had need of it. 

Henry also shared his father's love for the boar flesh of 
Pickering. In 1227 the king, when tarrying at Stamford, sent 
Guy and John "Stultus" to take twenty hinds and twelve 
wild pigs in his forest of Pickering, for the king's own use. 
In 1231, when the king was at Wallingford, he dispatched his 
huntsmen to the same forest to bring back the large number of 
thirty wild pigs and fifty hinds ; there can be no doubt that in 
each of these cases the meat was to be salted. 

The first forest eyre for Pickering of which there is any 
record, and that only a brief entry in the great Coucher Book 
of the duchy, was held in 1280. Edward granted his brother 
Edmund the right of having justices of the forest whenever the 
king appointed such for his own forests, and also granted him 
the fines and ransoms that might accrue from the holding of 
the eyre. 

Edward II. was at Pickering castle from 8th August to 
22nd of the same month, in 1323. Whilst tarrying there, he 
ordered John de Kilvington, the keeper, to permit William, 
the hermit of Dal by, to have pasture in the forest for three 
cows, with their issue, for three years ; William had previously 
obtained the royal permit for the pasturing of two cows for his 
lifetime, and the present grant provided that he should, in 
addition, have pasturage for a third cow so long as he remained 
a hermit. But the king had graver matters to attend to whilst 
at Pickering. An inquisition was held by the oath of the 
foresters, verderers, regarders, and other forest ministers, in 
addition to other lawful men, whereby it was proved that over 
two score persons, in addition to many unknown, had com- 
mitted venison trespasses in the forest since the time that it 




came into the king's hands through the forfeiture of the Earl 
of Lancaster. Thomas of Lancaster had been executed at 
Pontefract after the battle of Boroughbridge, in April, 1322, 
so that all these offences had been committed in about a twelve- 
month. The unsettled condition of the country, and particu- 
larly of the Scarborough and Whitby districts, where the earl 
had numerous friends and allies, had doubtless led many to think 
that the forest laws could be then infringed with impunity. 
Among the offenders were several of position, such as Sir 
John de Fauconburg and Sir Robert Caponn, who led a large 
company on 2Qth June, with eight greyhounds and bows and 
arrows, and there took a hart and hind, and carried the venison 
away to Skelton castle. At Martinmas, Sir Robert Caponn 
made another entry into the same part of the forest with nine 
men, and carried off three deer ; and on a third occasion, a few 
days later, he came with seventeen unknown men, " for the 
purpose of doing evil, but they took nothing." A minor 
offender was convicted of entering Blandsby park and giving 
the parker izd. and a silk purse to say nothing about it. 
The king instructed the sheriff to arrest all these transgressors, 
and to deliver them to John de Kilvington to be kept in prison 
in Pickering castle until further orders. 

The forest did not in any way suffer from the northern in- 
vasion of 1322, as it was saved by a war indemnity. For when 
the Scots that year made a bold foray into England, under 
Robert Bruce, and pillaged among other places the abbey of 
Rievaulx, which closely adjoined the liberty of Pickering, 
John Topcliffe, the rector of Seamer, and other leading men 
of the district, with the assent of the whole community, pur- 
chased the immunity of the vale and forest of Pickering from 
the river Seven on the west to the sea on the east. The 
covenant to effect this was made with Robert Bruce on I3th 
October, 1322, through the Earl of Moray, for 300 marks to be 
paid at Berwick. Nicholas Haldane, William Hastings, and 
John Manneser, at the request of the whole community, gave 
themselves up to Robert Bruce at Rievaulx on i7th October, 
to sojourn as hostages in Scotland until the money was paid. 
Afterwards the men of the community, although the Scots had 
kept to their bargain, refused payment, and the three Pickering 
hostages were still in prison in Scotland in July, 1325. 


During Edward II. 's sojourn at Pickering in 1322 he gave 
icw. to John, son of Ibote, of Pickering, for following him 
the whole day when he hunted the hart in Pickering chase, 
and also the roe deer. 

The case of Sir John Fauconburg's poaching came up again 
in the reign of Edward III. A close letter to the treasurer 
and barons of the Exchequer, of September, 1327, sets forth : 
That Sir John had shown the king, by petition before him and 
his council, that Hugh le Despencer, the younger, had lately 
caused Sir John to be indicted at Pickering, in Edward II.'s 
presence, for taking a hart and a hind, and caused him to be 
kept in prison until he had paid 100 marks fine, of which sum 
he paid 10 marks ; that he prayed the king to be released from 
the remainder of the fine as he was indicted contrary to the 
law of the realm and of the forest ; that the alleged trespass 
was made when Pickering forest was in the king's hands by 
reason of the quarrel with Thomas of Lancaster, and it was 
ordained in the late Parliament that the king was not to have 
the issue of lands of those who were of the said quarrel ; and 
further, that Sir John was indicted before another than the 
keeper of the forest, contrary to the law and assize of the 
forest. This last ingenious plea, namely, that Edward II. 
had presided at the Pickering court in person, instead of John 
de Kilvington, prevailed, and the barons were ordered, if 
they found that Sir John had been indicted before another 
than the keeper, to remit the arrears of the 100 marks. 

Pleas of the forest were held at Pickering on 6th October, 
1334, before Richard de Willoughby, Robert de Hungerford, 
and John de Hanbury, justices in eyre. The foresters-of-fee 
of the West ward were Sir William de Percy, who was pre- 
sent, and a lady forester, Petronilla de Kynthorp, who was 
represented by Edmund de Hastings as her deputy. The 
foresters-of-fee of the East ward, were Roger de Leicester, 
Hugh de Yeland, and William le Parker. All these had 
several sub-foresters under them. Sir Ralph de Hastings, the 
keeper of the whole forest, had seven foresters immediately 
under his control. Four verderers, thirteen regarders, and 
four agisters (two for each ward) were also present. 

No pleas had been held since 1280, and the verderers, past 
and present, or their heirs, were bound to produce the rolls, 


with vert and venison presentments, of their term of office. 
Alexander, the son and heir of Bernard de Bergh, deceased, 
appeared and handed in his father's rolls, and the same 
happened with the sons of two other deceased verderers. In 
two other cases the sons put in no appearance, and the sheriff 
was ordered to seize the lands to compel attendances ; the sons 
and heirs appeared before the court broke up, and were fined 
40^. and five marks respectively. Two late verderers who were 
living appeared and produced their rolls. William Ward, 
late verderer, failed to appear, and writ was directed to sheriff; 
afterwards he appeared, and was fined half a mark for 
non-appearance the first day, and 5 for non-production of 
of his rolls, which he said had been stolen from him, and he 
knew not where they were. The successors of two other late 
verderers (deceased) were fined ^3 for non-production of their 
predecessors' rolls. 

It was reported that Roger Mansergh, late forester-of-fee 
of the West ward, was dead, and that Petronilla, his daughter 
and heiress, came to perform the duties of her office and make 
her claim ; another forester-of-fee of the East ward, Roger 
Bygod, late Earl of Norfolk, was dead, so that the same had 
remained in the king's hands, and the constables of the castle, 
at their own risk, had appointed at pleasure Hugh de Yeland 
in his stead. 

The rolls of those who had been agisters since the last eyre 
were also put in, in two cases by the sons and heirs of those 
who were deceased. 

The constables of the castle, who were also wardens of the 
forest, were called upon to present their rolls and the muni- 
ments of the forest, since the last eyre held fifty-four years 
ago they were Richard Skelton, William Levere, and Adam 
Skelton, all dead, the order of the court in each case being, 
"Let his successor appear and answer." Then came John 
^Dalton, a late constable, who produced his rolls. He was 
followed by John Kilvington, who said that during all the 
time he was constable, he was appointed, by commission from 
Edward II., warden of the honor, castle, and forest of Picker- 
ing, which was then for certain reasons in the king's hands, 
and that as he had to render his account to the Exchequer all his 
rolls and other forest documents were in the king's treasury, 


so that he could not produce them, and he referred the justices 
to them. The late constable's statement was then proved 
on oath by forest ministers, and in order to save time the 
justices decided not to send to Westminster to inspect the 
returns and accounts, and contented themselves with fining 
John the nominal sum of half a mark for non-production. 
Thomas Ugretred and Simon Simeon, both short-lived con- 
stables, did not appear or send any deputies or rolls, and 
writs were issued in each case. Sir Ralph Hastings, the then 
holder of the office for life, by appointment of Henry, Earl of 
Lancaster, made due appearance, and produced his documents. 

With regard to the list of essoines before the justices, the 
majority of them were proved to be dead, and therefore no 
further proceedings could be taken in their case or in that of 
their bail. 

The list of indictments by the foresters and verderers opens 
with a case of venison trespass on an exceptionally large scale. 
On 23rd March, 1334, there were gathered together at " Black- 
hodbrundes " (probably Blakey Moor) in the forest, a great 
concourse of people with greyhounds and bows and arrows; 
among them were several of considerable position, such as 
Nicholas Meynell (mentioned first) of Whorley Castle, Peter de 
Manley, the younger, heir to Mulgrave, John and William de 
Percy of Kildale, whilst other names of distinction, such as 
Wyvill and Colville, occur among the forty-two who were 

The sport probably assumed the form of a great drive, for 
forty-three of the red deer (another account says sixty-three) 
were actually killed. By way, apparently, of showing their 
contempt for the foresters of the Earl of Lancaster, the sports- 
men, before they left the forest, cut off nine of the heads and 
fixed them on stakes in the moor. Again, on 26th May of the 
same year, Nicholas Meynell, with Peter de Manley, and some 
others engaged in the former fray, but in a much smaller 
company, entered the forests with bows, arrows, and grey- 
hounds ; on this occasion, however, they had only taken one 
hind when the foresters came upon them, rescued the venison, 
and carried it off to Pickering castle. The special imperti- 
nence of this game trespass was that Edward III. had only 
arrived at Pickering castle on a visit to the Earl of Lancaster 


on the previous day. The king tarried there till 3oth 
May, and the eyre that was held a few months later was 
probably brought about as the result of this wholesale poach- 
ing by men of position. 

None of the transgressors put in an appearance before the 
justices, and a writ was directed to the sheriff to compel their 
attendance. Eventually certain of them appeared, were con- 
victed, imprisoned in the castle, and ransomed on finding 
pledges and paying fines Nicholas Meynell 13 6^. 8d. , Peter 
de Manley and William Wyvill 10 each, Robert Colville 6, 
Robert Staynton and two more i each, whilst twenty others 
were fined in sums varying from 13$. 4^. to 5^. Three more 
appeared later before the justices at Hackness, and were im- 
prisoned and ransomed ; the rest did not appear, and as the 
sheriff failed to find them, and they had no goods in his baili- 
wick, they were outlawed. 

Sir Ralph Hastings, the then constable and keeper, was 
himself charged with venison trespass in 1327, but he produced 
a pardon from the Earl of Lancaster, dated I3th August, 1334. 

Another trespasser who produced a pardon was Edmund 
Hastings, who, with certain of his household, hunted a hare 
by night on Midsummer Eve, 1316, and carried it home to 
Roxby. Edmund appeared and produced a pardon signed by 
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, soon after the offence, as well as 
from his nephew Henry, the present earl. 

A considerable proportion of the venison trespassers were 
men of good family, such as Moryns, Acclams, and Boyntons, 
in addition to those already named. 

Here, as elsewhere, a certain number of the secular clergy 
were found to be culprits. Walter Wirksall, chaplain of 
Westerdale, was convicted of twice joining a poaching party 
in 1328, and was fined 1 6s. 8d. Robert Hampton, rector of 
Middleton, kept four greyhounds, and often hunted hares ; as 
he did not put in an appearance and could not be found, the 
rector was outlawed. John, the chaplain of Hackness, in 1312, 
and again in 1314, knowingly received unlawfully hunted 
venison ; on his conviction he was fined i 6.r. 3d. During 
the time of the sitting of the eyre, John Shepherd, parson of 
Levisham, was caught by Edmund Hastings, forester-in-fee, 
in the act of killing a hart with bow and arrow in Haughdale ; 


he was taken to the castle and there imprisoned. On being 
taken before the justices, he and his companion got off with 
the light fine of 13^. ^d. each. On loth July, 1311, a servant 
lad of William Nafferton, vicar of Scalby, and two other men, 
carried a hind, which one of them had killed, to the vicarage, 
but without the vicar's knowledge ; there they skinned it, and 
Dionysia, the vicar's maid, was an accessory, for she had part 
of the venison ; part she sent as a gift to Emma Pinchon, 
laundress of Newby, and the rest she sent out to the fields to 
the vicar's ploughmen for their dinner. One of those who 
carried the venison to the house was fined 6s. 8^., and the 
rest were outlawed. Outlawry was the usual penalty for these 
venison trespassers where the offender was poor and could not 
readily be found. It is highly probable that not a few of such 
outlaws eventually returned to their parishes or homes in the 
lighter cases. 

Many of the delinquents of the earlier years since the last 
eyre were doubtless dead, and where that was known to be the 
case the information was struck off. But one case brought 
before the justices in 1334 went back as far as 1289. In that 
instance two men of Farndale, who killed two hinds in Parnell- 
dale on ist July, 1289, were fined, the one 26s. 8d. and the 
other 40^., thirty-five years after the offence was committed. 

The enormous amount of business of every kind that ac- 
cumulated for the justices to supervise at these long-deferred 
eyres generally caused the proceedings to be very protracted. 
This one at Pickering, with occasional sittings at Hackness 
for the liberty of the abbot of Whitby, actually lasted for two 
years, though, of course, they were not continuous sittings. 

Among matters investigated by a jury at these pleas was the 
general amount of venison taken in the forest since the last iter. 
The returns made showed that when John Dalton was constable 
and keeper, he took 134 harts, and 158 hinds, bucks and does, as 
well as five hinds that Henry Percy took by his leave, and three 
hinds, three calves (red deer fawns), two fallow deer, and two 
roe deer, which he took and gave away as he pleased. When 
he appeared before the justices, Dalton stated that when keeper 
under Earl Thomas he took harts, hinds, bucks, and does, and 
delivered them in accordance with the earl's orders and pro- 
duced his warrants. Among others were seventy-two harts, 


fifty-six hinds, and forty-two fallow deer for the earl's larder ; 
fourteen harts and eighteen hinds for tithe to the abbot of 
St. Mary's, York ; three hinds for the Bishop of Ely ; and a 
large number of single deer to all the chief families of the 
district. The two roe deer and two calves were taken acci- 
dentally by his hounds when in the forest, and he was not able 
to rescue them alive. He denied taking and giving away 
three hinds and two fallow deer, but judgment was given 
against him in that, and he was fined 2, and had to find 
sureties for good behaviour. During the time of his office 
several hundred oaks were felled that were chiefly used for the 
fortifications and repairs of the buildings and stockades of the 
castle. Dalton was able to produce warrants for all save five 
oaks, and for these he had to answer at the rate of 6d. each, 
and 3or. for the offence. 

Kilvington, when he was constable, had felled 107 oaks in 
the forest, and 305 in Haugh Rise and Birkhow. In his time 
152 harts and 159 hinds and fallow deer were taken in the 
forest. He appeared, and said that all that he had done was by 
royal warrant, save that thirty harts and fifty hinds had died 
of murrain, and that their putrid carcases were hung on oaks 
in the forest. He was given till i3th March, 1335, to obtain 
certificates from the Exchequer. These certificates were ac- 
cordingly produced at that date, but as they did not entirely 
free him he was allowed to make a fine to the earl of 20 to 
clear the remainder. 

Richard Skelton, the late keeper, was dead ; the foresters 
certified that during his time 390 harts and 524 hinds and 
calves, etc., were killed, but about 500 of them died of murrain, 
and that he gave a hunt after the earl's game to Anthony Bek, 
Bishop of Durham, and another to Robert Bigot, who in each 
case carried off their game ; but they were both dead. 

They also made short returns for the brief periods that 
.William le Eure, Adam Skelton, and Simon Simeon were 
successive keepers ; in each case there were many deaths from 

Ralph Hastings was able to produce warrants for all vert 
and venison since he had been keeper. 

The Regard of the forest, presented on the opening day of 
the eyre, introduced another class of business and investigation 


set forth under the various statutory articles. In this case the 
sworn statements were of exceptional length, as they actually 
had to present all assarts made in the forest since 28th October, 
1217, namely, for 117 years ! Those between 1217 and the last 
eyre were termed old assarts, and those since the last eyre 
new assarts. All these assarts and enclosures, and encroach- 
ments and spoiling of woods have been set forth at length by 
Mr. Turton from the Coucher Book. 

Agistment records were put in, beginning in the year 1290. 
The pannage charge in both the East and West wards was id. 
for a pig, and \d. for a little pig, that is under half a year old. 

Particular indictments presented to the justices, when sitting, 
in 1335, included charges against foresters of skinning a hart 
that died of the murrain and keeping its skin, worth is. 4^., to 
their own use ; foresters taking and retaining pasturage fees ; 
foresters keeping pigs, horses, and beasts unlawfully ; the 
prioress of Rosedale usurping the right of having a woodward 
in Rosedale wood ; and the wrongful appropriation of honey. 

The cases of vert trespasses committed within the demesne 
since the eyre of 1280, that were presented at the eyre of 1334, 
numbered only 93 ; but it must be remembered that the swain- 
mote courts had power of dealing with the minor offences of 
this nature, and that in many instances the trespassers and bail 
must have been dead. The majority of the cases were for taking 
green oaks of comparatively small value. The fines imposed 
varied from i s. to 5. In addition to oaks, alders, hazels, hollies, 
thorns, saplings, and poles are mentioned. The present ver- 
derers were held responsible for the value-fines of the swain- 
motes that their predecessors had received. Clergy, both 
secular and religious, appear among the transgressors. Of the 
former, the rectors of Brampton and Middleton, and the vicar 
of Ebbeston, had to answer for comparatively small offences. 
Of the latter, the offenders included the abbot of Whitby (for 
a trifling offence), the priors of Bridlington and Malton, and 
the preceptor of Foulbridge. The prior of Malton had the dis- 
tinction of paying the heaviest vert fine of the whole eyre. 
He took green thorn and hazels in Allantofts, value i, and 
carried it to Scarborough for kippering his herrings. The 
prior appeared and was convicted, and though it was stated 
that he had never since been found within the bounds of the 


forest, he was held responsible for the value, and was further 
fined the sum of .5. Three servants of the prior of Bridling- 
ton felled, for the use of the prior, a green oak by night in 
Fulwood value 2d. They were caught whilst carrying it away 
in a wagon worth 40^., drawn by four oxen, worth in all 
1 6s. 8d., and were handed over to the late prior to be pro- 
duced at this eyre. The present prior was held responsible, 
and in addition to the loss of wagon and oxen was fined 2s. 
One of the servants was dead, and the two others, who had 
been released on bail, did not appear. Their bail was ordered 
to be forfeited, when it was found that they were all dead. This 
was evidently an old case that had probably occurred soon 
after the last eyre ; but the vert roll, unlike that for venison, 
unfortunately gives no dates. There are several other instances 
of forfeiture of wagons and oxen ; in these the value was 
much lower than in the prior's case, for the other wagons are 
all valued at 6d., and the oxen in sums varying from 2s. 8d. to 
3-r. ^d. each. 

The various cases of cattle taken within the forest that were 
unagisted since the last eyre, included upwards of 150 different 
charges. Such cattle were impounded by the forest ministers, 
and as a rule their value was paid to the lord ere released. 
These sums appeared in the annual accounts of the forest. It 
seems that the usual course was for all these cases to be brought 
before the eyre, but that no further proceedings were generally 
taken if it was shown that the value-fine had been paid at the 

The fines for non-appearance on the first day of this pro- 
tracted eyre were astonishingly numerous. They were 
evidently levied according to the position of the offender, 
and the extent of his rights within the forest. Thus the prior 
of the Hospitallers was fined 3 ; Henry de Percy and Thomas 
Wake, 2 ; William Latimer, i los. ; and the abbot of 
. Rievaulx and Sir Richard de Ros, i. There were several 
fines of 3^. 4^., and others of is. 8d. In thirty-two cases there 
were is. fines, whilst 6d. was the forfeit paid by nearly 300 
persons. The townships of Pickering and Goathland were 
fined i for non-appearance of their four men and reeves 
on the first day, and four other townships smaller amounts. In 
about a dozen cases there was no fine on account of poverty. 


Robert Stephen, though fined 6d. , had nothing to pay because 
he was a villein ; whilst John Foxlove was pardoned his fine 
for two good reasons, as he was both poor and dead ! 

The records of various swainmote or attachment courts of 
this forest for the year 1407-8 are extant. At one held at 
Pickering on iyth September, the woodwards of Crosscliffe 
and Stayndale were each fined 2d. for non-appearance. The 
attachments for agistment of pigs in the West ward during the 
close month were numerous. 

The attendance of the officials at these minor courts seems 
to have been slack. At a swainmote held on St. Matthew's 
Day, the forester of Alayntoft was fined zd. ; John Gower, one 
of the verderers, 6d. ; William de Roston, deputy regarder, 
^d. ; John Westhorpe, regarder, 4^., for absence. The town- 
ship of Brymyngeshoe was at the same time fined 6d. for the 
absence of their reeve and four men. 

Fines were paid this year before John de Sultan, lieutenant 
for William de Roos, lord of Hamelake, the keeper of the 
forest, for the lawing of dogs. The West ward paid the large 
sum of 10 i8s. 8d., duly portioned out among the different 
townships ; Pickering, with Goathland, paid 6os. ; Cropton, 
with Hartoft, 30^. ; whilst others like Newton only paid 3-r. 4^. 
The sum received for a like cause from the East ward was 
3 os. 8d. 

The due number of courts, namely, one every forty days, 
were held in 1408 at Pickering, and other forest centres. 
At the Langdon court, Sir David de Rouclyffe was presented for 
having felled in Goathland, in a close called Malton close, 
nine oaks for a balk then being made in Pickering at a place 
called Barylgate, and also seven oaks and twenty-three logs of 
willow and linden for building there. 

The forests pertaining to the Duchy of Lancaster naturally 
suffered severely during the Wars of the Roses, and perhaps 
none more so than Pickering. In October, 1489, Henry VII. 
enjoined upon Brian Sandford, steward^ of the honor of 
Pickering, constable of the castle, and "master forster of our 
game within the seid honnor," that no manner of person be 
permitted in any way to take or disturb the game for the space 
of three years "As it is common unto our knowledge that 
our game of dere and warenne within our seid honnor is gretly 


diminnished by excessive huntyng, and likely to be destroied, 
without restreyn in the same be had in that depart." " We 
desire," continued the king", "the replenisshyng of our seid 
game not only for our singler pleasure but also for the disport 
of other oure servantes and subjettes of wirshipp in theis 

The country had apparently not sufficiently settled down for 
justices to be spared at this period to go through the long pro- 
cesses involved in forest pleas at Pickering, and the king, in 
1494, appointed Brian Sandford and Richard Cholmley to act 
as commissioners in procuring inquests as to the various 
transgressions in the forest, taking cognisances of all offences 
for the past five years. The jury, which included five esquires 
and three gentlemen, first presented that, on ist July, 1489, Leo 
Percy, lately of Ryton, esquire, a forester-of-fee, killed a buck 
which Sir Thomas Metham had; on i2th July, a buck, which 
Master Babthorp, reeve of Hemingborough had ; on aoth 
December, a doe, which John Clay and Robert Milner of 
Kirby Moorside had ; on 22nd December, three does, one of 
which went to Sir John Pickering, another to Sir Thomas 
Metham, and the third to John Hotham, of Scarborough ; and 
also at divers times six does and one hind in the park of 
Blandsby for his own use. In 1490 he killed nineteen, in 1491 
nineteen, in 1492 fifteen, and in 1493 twelve, disposing of them 
to such persons as those already named, as well as to the prior 
of Watton, the rector of Levisham, Sir Marmaduke Constable, 
Guy Fairfax, and Robert Constable, of Holm. 

They also charged Roger Hastings, one of the foresters-of- 
fee, with taking twenty deer. 

On the other hand, Lionel Percy and Roger Hastings each 
claimed as foresters-of-fee two harts and two bucks in summer, 
and two harts and two does in winter ; but the jury disallowed 
this, and returned that they were only permitted one course 
for their dogs twice a year. " The two foresters claimed from 
every deer slain within the forest both the shoulders as well as 
the entrails, or numbles (barbillas, que barbille proprie noun- 
billes evocantur}. But the jury disallowed this, stating that the 
foresters-of-fee had only a right to the left shoulder, the right 
shoulder and the entrails belonging to the master forester or 
his lieutenant. 


In a schedule supplied to the Commission of fallow deer 
killed or taken out of the park of Blandsby, within the honor of 
Pickering, by the steward and his deputies or by others at his 
command, 12 are entered for 1488, including a buck each for the 
dean of York and for the abbot of St. Mary, York; and 12 died 
in the summer of that year of murrain. Of the 15 does killed 
at Michaelmas, in 1489, 6 were retained by the steward and 

2 by his clerk ; 6 died of murrain. But of 16 deer killed at 
Easter of that year, the steward kept 4 bucks, and his clerk 

3 does ; the murrain carried off 8 male deer. At Michaelmas, 
1490, 13 deer were killed by the steward's orders, all does, of 
which the dean of York received one ; the murrain was respon- 
sible for the death of six. From this date up to the holding of 
the Commission the number of deer killed by the steward's 
orders averaged 15 a year. Of those killed at Easter, 1491, a 
buck was assigned to " the weddyng of Crystofer Peghen," and 
another "to making of a Preest." The last entry probably 
refers to a feast given at Pickering by the parents of one who 
had been admitted to priest's orders. 

A separate schedule was presented of "the herts, hinds, and 
other reade dere which have been taken by Bryan Sampford 
Esquyre, steward of the honor of Pykeringe," or his deputies, 
between 1488 and 1493. They included 9 harts, 3 hinds, 2 
brocket, and i " Hyrsill." A hind was also found hurt with a 
harrow in Newton Dale, which had to be slain. During this 
period 15 red deer died of the murrain. 

A prolonged and fierce dispute arose between Hastings and 
Chomley as to this forest, of which extraordinarily full records 
are still extant. Members of the Hastings family had been 
frequently stewards of the honor of Pickering, constables of its 
castle, and masters or keepers of the forest for some two centuries. 
Richard II. had appointed Sir Edmund Hastings to these 
offices, and Henry VII. had confirmed the appointment, and 
made him also keeper of Blandsby park in the second year of 
his reign. But Henry had soon cause to note the lax way in 
which the old officials of the duchy discharged their duties, 
and on the death of Sir Edmund Hastings severed the official 
connection of that family with the honor of Pickering. Sir 
Roger Hastings, as tenant of Kingthorpe, became one of the 
foresters-of-fee, but Brian Sandford became master forester and 


steward. Within five years, however, of his being appointed, the 
new steward's laxity in both vert and venison came before the 
very court of which he was joint commissioner with Richard 
Cholmley, whilst two of the other chief offenders were, as we 
have just seen, foresters-of-fee. The jury were themselves so 
tainted that they failed to convict, and eventually Brian Sand- 
ford was removed, and Sir Richard Cholmley appointed in his 
place. Though a man of eminence, Cholmley had then no con- 
nection with Pickering or the district, and his advent and that 
of his family was bitterly resented by the Hastings, who were 
not only jealous, but resentful towards the stricter forest rules. 
In 1501 complaint was made to the chancellor of the duchy 
by Sir Roger Hastings, one of the king's foresters of Pickering 
forest, against Sir Richard Cholmley, master of the forest and 
his deputies, for suffering great waste of both wood and deer 
in the forest and park. The charges are set forth with much 
particularity in a long schedule. The list of waste in those 
woods of the king's demesne, where no free tenants were en- 
titled to have any live trees, opens with thirty-six oaks assigned 
to the abbot of Whitby and twenty oaks to the dean of York. 
The allotment of forty-six other oaks is also specified. Various 
charges were made against the master's servants, the gravest 
of which was : 

" Item, the said Richard Chomely hath a servaunt called John 
Colson, and he dayly ledes away the kinges wode be horse lade to 
Scarbrougfh, some day iiij horses, and oft tymes vj horses dayly this 
vij yeres and every yere to the value of v /z', sum xxxv li. " 

The waste in the wood called "the Yath " was said to be 
very considerable ; about 150 loads of wood are enumerated, 
with the names of those who had them in a single year, as well 
as a great many stubs. In the same year, in the grounds of 
Deepdale, about 100 oaks had been felled by the officers and 
servants of the master, out of which only a very few had been 
used towards the repair of the castle walls. 

As to the destruction of the king's game, Sir Richard 
Cholmley was charged with hunting, chasing, and slaying with 
greyhounds, bows and arrows, or permitting to be slain by 
others, between 1499 and 1501, the following deer, the date, 
place, and name of the exact offender being in each case 


chronicled. Fallow deer : 4 buck, 2 sowers, 3 does ; red deer : 
14 stags, 5 bucks, 17 harts, 19 hinds, 18 calves (both hind and 
hart, but not always specified which), and 3 hyrsills. In 
addition to this, 6 stags, i hart, i hind, and i calf had been 
found dead in Langdon and Newton Dale with arrows in them. 

The answer of Sir Richard Cholmley to the bill of complaint 
of Sir Roger Hastings was brief, vigorous, and to the point. 
He said that the charges were false, and only intended to 
vex and trouble him, that neither the abbot of Whitby nor the 
dean of York had ever had any timber out of Pickering forest 
since he had been an official ; that the whole of the charges as 
to the waste of wood were false, save that stubbs were delivered 
to certain tenants by his officers for "firebote," according to 
ancient usage. As to the game, he had given " certain dear to 
the lords and gentylmen borderyng unto the said forrest 
to thentent that they shuld be lovyng and favorable to the 
kynges game there," and that their number and condition were 
better than they had been when he entered on his office. 

As a counterblast to this long and definite complaint, Roger 
Cholmley (brother to Richard) and others laid complaints of a 
much shorter character before the chancellor, in the following 
year, as to certain offences committed by Sir Roger Hastings 
in Pickering Lithe. 

It became necessary to hold a local inquiry. The inquisi- 
tion was opened at Pickering on ist May, 1503. The jury 
found that in the year 1501 a stag was killed at Cross Cliff 
for Lord Clifford ; a hart at Goathland for the Bishop of Carlisle ; 
a stag for the Archbishop of York ; a hart for the Abbot 
of Fountains; a stag for the Receiver-General of the Duchy; a 
stag for Mr. Empson ; a stag killed by Sir Richard Cholmley 
and given to the Ambassador of Scotland ; a stag killed by 
Sir John Hotham and Sir Richard Cholmley ; and a brocket 
killed by Sir Ralph Bigot ; also a buck and doe without 
licence by two yeomen. The jury further stated that the red 
deer in the forest of Pickering then numbered " 200 over and 
above the number that were founden at thentre of the said 
Sir Richard Cholmeley, and whereas the said Sir Richard 
upon iiij yeres passed founde at his entre to said parke 
(Blandsby) xviij score falowe dere, there be nowe 500 or 





As to the charge of wood wasting, the jury were equally 
emphatic, declaring that neither Sir Richard, nor his brother, 
nor any of the officials, "did sell, give, nor emploie to theire 
owne use any maner of wodde, excepte suche tymber and 
wodde as by theym hathe beene delivered to the King's tenaunts 
and freehoolders as of right and due unto them." 

In addition to the findings of the juries, William Savage 
and Thomas Magnus, before whom the inquest was held, 
appended other valuable proof as to the condition of the forest 
and park. They stated that they had diligently examined on 
oath the foresters, keepers, and woodwards, as well as other 
persons, and that even those who were adversaries of Sir 
Richard had to admit that there were at least 200 red deer, a 
greater number than when he entered on his office ; whilst 
Sir Richard and others deposed that they now numbered 
300. The Commissioners resolved to test the matter for them- 
selves : 

" Item, we being perfitely enformed that the circuit of the said 
foreste conteynneth upon Ix myles aboute, did take with us viij 
persons, and went sodenly into the said foreste, and notwithstanding 
there be noe lawnde wherunto the said dere shulde resoorte, but all 
the moores in corne for the kingges tenants there, yet natheless the 
said viij persons brought unto us withyne two houres vij or viij score 
Rede dere, and soe we vewed thaym at the same sodeyn assemble." 

As to the park, Sir Richard's adversaries did not deny that 
there were 400 fallow deer, whilst his friends deposed on oath 
that there were 500 ; the Commissioners on view believed the 
latter statement to be true. 

The foresters were accustomed and allowed to occasionally 
take dead wood to Scarborough and elsewhere for sale ; but in 
the case of John Colson, "he fortuned to toppe the toppes of 
certaine stubbe oakes, and sold the same with his wyndefallen 
wodde at Scarborough." But directly this came to Sir Richard's 
knowledge, John Colson was dismissed from office openly in 
court, and imprisoned in Pickering castle until he found 
sureties for his future good behaviour. 

The deer of Pickering forest dwindled during Henry VIII. 's 
reign. In a return of all the king's deer north of the Trent, 
drawn up in 1538, there were but 140 fallow deer and 50 red 


deer in the forest. But perhaps the deer in Blandsby park 
escaped reckoning. 

An inquisition was held as to the condition of the forest in 
1562, the returns of the juries covering the period since the 
death of Henry VIII. It was stated that since that time Sir 
Richard Cholmley had felled eighty oak trees in Goathland, 
and much in other parts of the forest to his own use, and that 
he had used much timber in the making of his house at 
Roxby ; that Sir Richard had taken down fourteen loads of 
the best dressed stones out of the chief tower and other parts 
of Pickering castle to build his gallery at Roxby, the castle 
being in ruin and decay ; that the red deer were viewed to be 
264, whereof 54 were male deer ; and that the fallow deer in 
Blandsby park and woods adjoining were 600, whereof 77 were 

In 1591, the killing of any deer, red or fallow, within 
Pickering forest, was prohibited for three years, as the stock 
was getting greatly diminished. 

A survey of the woods taken early in 1608 mentions that 
the wall of stone round Blandsby park was greatly decayed 
in many places, and that there were then about 100 deer in it. 

The elaborate survey taken in 1619-21 by John Norden, 
sworn to by forty-one jurors, gives full particulars as to 
bounds, woods, wastes, encroachments, and general manorial 
details. Norden complains that " the tenantes about Pickeringe 
are so unrulie, as they make their owne pervers wills a 
law." In connection with the "spoylers of woode," mention 
is made of oak, ash, alder, and maple. There were no keepers' 
lodges in any part of the forest save in Blandsby park, where 
there were two. 

' ' The foreste game shoulde be redd deere, but few lefte within the 
foreste, and they that are raunge into confininge woodes of S r 
Thomas Posthumus Huby, having litle or noe covert els within the 
foreste, but Newton Dale onlie, where they are often disturbed with 
stealers of woode, so that it is manifest that for everye redd deare in 
the forest there are 5000 sheepe. The parke is replenishte with 
fallow deere, but being unstaunchte (unsatisfied) they raunge over 
all the adjacent feildes." 

A detailed survey of the honor and its members was also 


drawn up in 1651. " Wee find," say the Commissioners, 
"that within the Honor of Pickering there is a Forest, a 
Chace, and a Parke (as it did appeare unto us by an ancient 
Veredict, and by the Testimony of many ancient Inhabitants), 
and also certaine Lands that are no part of the Forest." 
Neither red nor fallow deer are mentioned, but they could not 
have been extinct. 

The honor of Pickering had been settled on Queen Henrietta 
Maria as part of her jointure. At the Restoration it reverted 
to her, and a survey was made in 1661. It is therein stated : 
"There is a forest called the forest of Pickeringe Leighe, and 
a park called Blandesbie parke belonging to the Honor. The 
Parke is stored with deare, but the game within the forest is 
almost quite decayed." 


In the centre of Yorkshire, extending right up to the walls 
of York, was the great hunting district known as the forest 
of Galtres. It stretched at one time about twenty miles north- 
ward from York to the ancient town of Aldburgh ; being royal 
demesne, it was a favourite hunting-ground of the Saxon 
kings. From the days of Henry III. downwards, the incidents 
connected with this forest and its administration are of frequent 
occurrence, and it is strange that it has not found an historian. 
The exigencies of space only permit a few brief extracts. The 
two Yorkshire forests, whose officials received express directions 
as to the disposal of the cablish after the great storm of 1222, 
were those of Galtres and of the district between the Ouse and 
the Derwent. In 1227 Henry III. ordered the bailiffs of 
Hugh de Neville in the forest of Galtres to supply wood and 
charcoal for three days for the use of the archbishop in his 
house at York. In the same year the king gave four oaks out 
of this forest for the repair of the bridge at Topcliffe, and ten 
oaks to the prior of Marton for the building of his church. 

A perambulation of the forests of Yorkshire was made in 
1229, when it was certified that the whole forest of Galtres, the 
forest between the Ouse and the Derwent, and the forest of 
Farndale were true ancient forests of the king. 

In 1231 oaks were furnished from this forest for the repair of 
mills at York, and on October of that year the king ordered 


fifty hinds to be supplied for his use (salted venison) in the 
coming season from Galtres forest ; in the same month he 
instructed the sheriff of York to obtain a sufficiency of wood 
and charcoal from this district against his coming visit to York 
on the Sunday before Martinmas. 

Edward I., in 1280, gave the prioress and nuns of St. 
Clement's, York, six oaks fit for timber out of Galtres, and 
made a like gift to the Franciscans of Scarborough. In the 
following year Geoffrey de Neville, the keeper, was ordered 
to supply twelve bucks to the Earl of Surrey ; whilst six does 
were presented to the Archdeacon of Newark in the ensuing 
January. In the summer of 1283 there were numerous royal 
gifts of bucks from Galtres ; on i8th September the keeper was 
directed to supply Anthony Bek, the elect of Durham, with 
twenty-five bucks. 

Philip le Lardiner, son and heir of David le Lardiner, 
obtained seisin of the serjeanty of the forestry of the forest of 
Galtres, after doing homage for it, in January, 1284, which 
David at his death held of the king in chief. In the 
same year the Franciscans of York obtained six oaks for 
the work of their church ; whilst the dean of York (Robert de 
Scarborough) obtained ten live does to help to stock his park 
of Brotherton, and the master of St. Leonard's Hospital, York, 
four live bucks and eight live does to stock a park of his. In 
1286 a regard was ordered to be taken in preparation for a 
forest eyre. 

On 28th October, 1307, the sheriff of York received a man- 
date to assemble the foresters and regarders of Galtres to make 
a regard prior to the arrival of the forest justices. They were 
to elect new regarders in the place of those dead and infirm, so 
that there were twelve in each regard. The foresters were to 
swear to lead the twelve knights through their bailiwicks to 
view all trespasses which were to be expressed in the written 
capitula sent to the sheriff. The knights were to swear to 
make a true regard, and if the foresters did not lead them, 
or wished to conceal any forfeiture, the knights on that account 
were not to omit to view the forfeiture. The regard was to be 
made before the Feast of the Purification. Assarts made since 
2 Henry III. were to be viewed, and their acreage, sowing, and 
ownership, and all other particulars, written down. All pur- 


prestures, old and new, were to be likewise stated in full 

Orders were given in 1308 for the tithe of the whole venison 
taken in Galtres to be delivered to the abbot and convent of 
St. Mary's, York, in accordance with the grants of the king's 
predecessors. In 1311, and on various subsequent occasions, 
the king ordered the sheriff to cause new verderers to be 
elected for Galtres in the place of those removed by the Crown 
for insufficiency. Forest pleas were held at York in 1311, and 
again in 1313. 

Various attachment court rolls of this forest, temp. Edward 
II., are extant. There were six such courts held in 1313-17, 
namely, three at Easingwold, two at Huby, near Sutton-on- 
the- Forest, and one at " Hillulidgate." The fines imposed 
were chiefly for taking wood by the cartload. The 
Epiphany court at Huby imposed a fine of 6d. for twenty- 
four such cases, and one of i2d. The fines at the Easingwold 
court, at Ascensiontide, amounted to 18^., and included sixteen 
at 6d., two at is., and four at 2s., all vert cases. The fines at 
the St. John Baptist court at Huby included thirteen cases of 
turning out horses at 6d. each, and one of $s. ^d. for the 
irregular agisting of pigs. At another court there was a small 
fine for collecting acorns. 

The number of courts held annually seems to have been 
irregular ; but possibly those only are entered where there was 
business to transact. Thus the rolls record eight courts in 
1317-18 and eleven courts in 1318-19. In the latter year 
William Carlton, butcher, of York, was fined 2s. for twelve 
pigs taken in the forest in time of pannage. At the same court 
the straying of a black runt or steer (unum runctum nigrurri) 
cost the owner izd., and there was also a fine of 6d. for the 
straying of a colt (pro haymaldatione j pullani). The pannage 
of pigs at Huby brought in 3^. lod. ; at Easingwold, 26s. id. ; 
.pigs were charged id. each, and little pigs \d. The fence 
month payments of the different townships amounted to 
IDS. id. ; cheminage dues to los. A much larger sum was 
obtained when the dogs were lawed. In one year of this 
reign the lawing fees amounted to g 8s. ; the payment 
was 3-r. in each case, save in one instance, when the owner 
pleaded poverty, and the fee was lowered to I2d. 


A perambulation was made on oath as to the bounds of this 
forest in 1316, from which it becomes clear that the forest of 
Galtres comprised about sixty townships, containing within 
its demesne about 100,000 acres, or nearly the whole of the 
wapentake of Bulmer. The boundary line, beginning at 
4 'the foot of the wall of the city of York," passed nearly due 
north to Crayke, and thence round by Stillington, Farlington, 
and Strensall, and so to Huntingdon, "even to the foot of 
the wall of Layrthorpe Bridge, where the perambulation 

The bounding jury also testified that there was but one 
forester-of-fee in this forest, namely, John Hayword, who 
held his bailiwick for the term of his life by the gift of 
Edward II. 

In 1472, John Shupton, who held the office of riding forester 
in Galtres by letters patent of Henry IV., surrendered his letters 
in Chancery to be cancelled in favour of his son William. 
This was granted on payment of the usual fees, with ^4 yearly 
for certain herbage. 

There are also various Galtres attachment court rolls extant 
of the reign of Henry VI. (1422-60). Interesting reference is 
therein made to the custom of Thistiltak, or thistletake, though 
not at that period producing any appreciable income. ' * Thistle- 
take " was a term at one time in use in Yorkshire, Lancashire, 
and Cheshire for a customary fee of \d. a head from drovers, 
through certain forests or over certain commons, if they per- 
mitted their beasts to graze to any extent, even to the snatching 
of a single thistle. 

In 1432 the agistment of cattle produced 15^., and the pan- 
nage of pigs 6s. 4^. Fines for taking a cartload of " ramell " 
(copse-wood) varied from 4^. to 6d., and for a cartload of 
" grissell " (which seems to have been a term for fresh cut 
grass for fodder) 6d. to &d. 

In 1483 Richard III. granted for life to his servant Geoffrey 
Frank, one of the esquires of the body, the office of the keeper 
of the king's laund within the forest of Galtres, with fees of 10 
yearly at the hands of the receiver of the lordship of Sheriff 
Huttun, and other profits. Grants were also made about the same 
time by the king to two out of the four foresterships ; each of the 
four foresters had a wage of 4^. a day. Another office filled by 


Richard III. in the following year was that of steward of 
Sutton within the forest of Galtres. 

Some interesting particulars relative to this forest occur in 
connection with an eyre of the time of Henry VIII. At pleas 
held on iyth June, 1528, William Maunsell appeared as chief 
steward; Francis Coket was riding forester; Sir George Law- 
son and John Jenynges, Esquire, were the two foresters, each 
with a deputy; Ralph Hungayth, Esq., and Christopher 
Fenton, gent., were the two chief verderers. The constable 
and four men from each of the townships of Easingwold, 
Haxby, Alne, Tollerton, Newton, Skelton, Clifton, Muggin- 
ton, Huby, Strensall, and Stillington appeared. 

Among the presentments were an assart of 80 acres by the 
treasurer of York Cathedral, a forester selling 100 loads of 
underwood in the last twenty years, the neglect of paling 
launds, the grazing of too many cattle, and trespass with 
crossbow and greyhounds. 

Lord Cromwell, as chief justice of the forests, in addition to 
the privilege of common pasture for twelve score horned cattle, 
received 6 13$. ^>\d. in fees from different townships. 

11 The office of the Ryding Forester with his fees accustomed " 
is thus set forth : 

" Furst the Rydyng Forester office is to ryde the perambula- 
tions with the kepers and the King his tenauntes at the tymes accus- 
tomede, to see and enqueare of all them that kepythe anye Closyng 
in Severallie that ought to be open in Winter, And also to hunte the 
purlewes and outer groundes with his houndes according to thoffice 
of a keper. 

" Item the saide Rydyng Forester haythe in his Fee accustomede 
within the saide Foreste as folowethe Fyrste of Saynt Marie in Yorke 
iijjr iiijfl?, of the Maister of the Comons their ijs, of Saynt leonardes in 
Yorke iijs vjd, at Huntington of holme landes iij^ iiijo?, of the Vicarage 
of Sutton ijs, of Shipton lands in Shipton ijs, at Newton upon Ouse 
9 iijs vjd, at Easingwold of the Kyng his tenauntes their ij.y vjd, at New- 
brough ijj, at Byland ij.y, in tachment monye iij^. 

" Suma, xxixs ijV 

"The office of the Bowebearer and Receyvor wythe his fees 

" Furste the saide Bowbearer ought dailie to walke throughe all 
the saide Forest as one keper ayther by hym selve or his deputie or 


deputies. Also he hayth in his Fee all forfayte Skynes bothe in 
Wynter and Somer by accustome. Also he haythe in Fee of Saynt 
Marye Abbaye in Yorke xijaf, in Tachement monye iiij^ one yere & 
njs v]d one other yere, at Newborogh xijd, at Bylande xij*/. Item he 
haythe oute of the Extreacte for his receyvourshippe 405. 

" Suma viij /z v'njs xd" 

Cromwell also held the office of master of the game in this 
forest, and was declared entitled to rights of herbage, pannage, 
browsing, " cokkyes or the netting of woodcocks, windfallen 
wood, fishing and fowling, and the Laund House lodge with its 
herbage, of the estimated annual value of 10', also i2d for 
gayte lawe in the hole forest of every 20 horse 6d, of every 20 
cattle, & 4tf? every score of sheep, & zd of every pakkehorse, 
2(1 for the hole year of every wayne, in fence moneth 4^ other 
time zd ; also 34^ 8d St Thomas day, and the last day of fence 
moneth in certain proportions from the townships. Suma 
20. i. o" 

The jury returned that " gate-lawe " had been leased for 
26s. 8d. and had been highly misused by the farmer. They 
considered that gate money might be taken of all the " bound- 
erers " that carried their own wood 2d., and 4^. if carrying 
other men's wood, together with \d. for every horse ; also ^d. 
for every horse carrying merchandise or other stuff to or from 
the city of York. 

During the civil war of the seventeenth century, which raged 
so fiercely round York, the forest of Galtres naturally suffered 
severely. It was disafforested in the time of Charles II. 

Lack of space prohibits any reference to the Yorkshire forests 
of Hatfield Chase, Knaresborough, and Wensleydale. 


THE history of the royal forest of Wirral, as well as of 
other Cheshire forests, yet remains to be written. There 
are two large histories of the hundred of Wirral 
(Mortimer, 1847 ; and Sulley, 1889), but neither of them give 
more than a sentence or two to the story of its forest. There 
are citations from and references to various documents per- 
taining to this forest in Helsley's fine edition of Ormerod's 
Cheshire (1882); but there is much information to be gleaned 
that has not been touched. 

On nth September, 1275, the Crown instructed Gaucelin de 
Badelesmere, justice of Chester, to permit Roger Lestrange 
to take two stags in the forest of Wirral for the king's use, and 
to cause them to be salted and brought with other venison to 
the king at Westminster by Michaelmas. 

In August, 1279, the same justice was ordered to cause the 
abbot of St. Werburgh's, Chester, to have a hart in Wirral 
forest for the feast of that saint. 

Licence was granted, in 1283, to the lepers of the house of 
Bebington, within the forest, to enclose five acres of their 
waste and bring it into cultivation ; but the dyke was to be 
a small one and the hedge low, so that the deer if they desired 
could leap it. In 1303 a hind that was found dead in the 
forest, with an arrow in its side, was given to these lepers 
according to the forest assize, but the arrow was the perquisite 
of the forester. 

By an ordinance of 1284 it was provided that a hart was to 
be given annually to the abbey of Chester on the feast of 
St. Werburgh, and also the tithe of the venison yearly, in aid 


of the great work of the building of the church, as was done 
in the forest of Delamere. 

In 1328 the chamberlain of Chester was ordered to pay 
Richard de Weford the arrears of his wages as riding forester 
of Wirral, and to continue them annually, as the king had 
appointed Richard to this office at the request of Queen Isabel 
before his accession, in consideration of his services to her, 
and he was to hold this office for life provided he conducted 
himself well in the bailiwick. There seems to have been some 
neglect about this order, for it was repeated in 1329 to Oliver 
de Ingham, justice of Chester. 

The citizens of Chester suffered so much from the shelter 
afforded to marauders by the forest so closely adjacent to its 
walls, that they petitioned Edward the Black Prince, then Earl 
of Chester, to cause it to be disforested. This was accom- 
plished, but not until after the prince's death, just at the close 
of the reign of Edward III. The Stanleys valued the per- 
quisites of the master forestership at 40 per annum, but 
only received a pension of twenty marks on the abolition of 
the forest jurisdiction. Although at this date they lost all 
power and perquisites, the Stanleys of Hooton long continued 
titular foresters of Wirral, and were so styled in documents of 
the reign of Henry VII. 

There was a good deal of woodland throughout the forest of 
Wirral in early days, as is proved, inter alia, by place and 
field names such as Woodchurch, Ashfield, Maplegreen, 
Okhill, etc. Place names also show where the lodges of 
several of the old wards or divisions of the forest stood. There 
is an old adage that says : 

" From Blacon point to Hillree 
A squirrel could leap from tree to tree." 

That is, from Chester to the extreme north-western point of 
the peninsula of Wirral ; but it is highly unlikely that this was 
the case in historic times. At all events, the wood had seriously 
diminished some years before Wirral was disforested, for in 
1359 William Stanley, the hereditary forester, received a grant 
of four oaks out of the forest of Greves from the Black Prince, 
as he understood that Stanley had no wood for fuel in his own 


Within this forest was Shotwick Park, attached to the 
strong royal castle of that name. Various references to the 
game and timber in this forest are given by Ormerod. 


These two considerable forests of Cheshire are generally 
mentioned in old documents in conjunction, although they had 
in some respects separate jurisdiction. The whole of this 
united forest district extended over all the hundred of Eddis- 
bury save a few parishes, and over a greater part of the 
hundred of Nantwich. The forest of Mara was bounded by 
the Mersey on the north, and had the forest of Wirral on the 
west, whilst that of Moudrem stretched out to the south-east 
in the direction of Nantwich. 

Ormerod tells us that " the jurisdiction was originally vested 
in four families" Kingsley of Kingsley, Grosvenor of Bud- 
worth, Wever of Wever, and Merton of Merton, by which we 
suppose is meant that these four families held hereditary 
foresterships-of-fee. The master forestership of the whole was 
conferred early in the twelfth century on Ralph de Kingsley to 
hold on horn tenure, in the same way as that of Wirral. The 
Dones afterwards succeeded to the Kingsleys in the master 
forestership and in the forestership-of-fee. At the forest pleas, 
held at Chester in 1271, each of the four foresters-of-fee were 
fined heavily for destruction of woods ; Done and Grosvenor 
13 6s. 8d. each, Merton 10, and Wever 5. Richard 
Done, as chief forester of Mara and Moudrem, claimed at 
that eyre to have eight under-foresters and two grooms, who 
boarded with the tenants ; two strikes of oat at Lent from 
every tenant for provender for his own horse ; bracken at all 
times save the hunting season ; pannage and agistment of 
pigs ; windfalls, and lops of felled trees ; crabstakes and 
stubbs ; half the bark of felled trees ; all cattle and goats taken 
at non-agistment times, \d. each, and the same of straying 
beasts between Michaelmas and Martinmas; all sparrowhawks, 
merlins, and hobbies ; all swarms of bees ; the right shoulder 
of every deer taken in the forest ; the horns and skin of every 
"stroken deer" found dead; waifs found in the forest; the 
hunting of foxes, hares, cats, weasels, and other vermin with 


hounds or greyhounds ; and the pelfe, or best beast of any that 
committed felony or trespass in the forest, and fled for the 
same, the lord having the residue. 

The forest of Delamere, as it was afterwards called, was dis- 
afforested by Act of Parliament in 1812. Various interesting 
particulars are given by Ormerod, chiefly taken from the 
Harl. MSS. 


A joint eyre was held at Chester for the forests of " Wirrall, 
Mara et Moudrem," in August, 1347, which has hitherto 
escaped the attention of county historians. It was over twenty 
years since the last of these pleas had been held. Thomas de 
Ferrars was the justice in charge of the pleas. A considerable 
number of claims were brought forward, supported by charters 
which were enrolled. Among them were the claims of the 
abbots of Chester, Basingwerk, and Chester. One of the lay 
claims was that of William de Stanley, as chief forester of 
Wirral, to hunt hares and foxes with greyhounds at all times 
of the year ; and that of John de Pennesley to dig turves, burn 
charcoal, and to obtain litter at any time of the year in Wirral 
forest, and to hunt with greyhounds and other dogs on foot, as 
well as large rights of pasturage. But some of the claimants 
overreached themselves, and were fined for making claims 
which they failed to establish. Among those who were thus 
mulcted were the abbot of Basingwerk, 40^. ; the abbot of 
Vale Royal, 2u., and Robert de Bradeford and Robert de 
Swynnerton half a mark each. 

There were a very great number of cases of purpresture or 
encroachment at these pleas, showing that the regard that pre- 
ceded the pleas must have been a thorough one. As examples, 
the following may be briefly mentioned : John Hotherinde 
was indicted for building a certain house without warrant ; he 
was declared in mercy, and the house was ordered to be 
levelled. Richard de Trafford had enclosed five acres without 
warrant ; he was in mercy, and the fences were to be destroyed 
and the land thrown open. Robert le Hog was charged with 
taking eighty acres of moor and marsh in the parish of Wim- 
balds Trafford for agisting his own beasts without warrant, to 


the annual value of 40^., and this for the last twenty years, so 
that there was neither agistment nor pannage for anyone 
else ; he was declared in mercy, and the eighty acres were to 
be taken from him. In another case a man had erected a mill 
without licence, and the building was ordered to be pulled 
down ; and in another case a man was in mercy for opening a 
marl pit. 

The vert presentments of Wirral forest were exceedingly 
numerous. They were all cases of felling trees, not mere 
lopping. Their values varied from 2s. to 40-?. Like present- 
ments were also very numerous from Mara and Moudrem ; the 
value charges, in addition to court fines, varied from 2s. to 2os. 
In some cases the transgressions were of a wholesale character, 
such as that of Thomas de Erdeswyk, who had felled sixty 
oaks. He was dead, but his wife appeared, and was fined a 
mark. Sir William de Legh, deputy keeper of Mara and Mou- 
drem under Richard Doun, was charged by the jury with 
selling wood out of the lordship to the value of more than 
;ioo, and the same in conjunction with the sub-forester, doing 
the like in the forest of Moudrem to the extent of 100 marks. 
It is interesting to note the appreciation shown for a well- 
grown and beautiful tree ; Peter de Thornton was charged with 
felling and carry ing off una pulcherrima guercus, valued at4cw. 

The venison cases show that there was an abundance of 
game, both red and fallow. Richard Spark was charged with 
killing many harts and hinds, as well as bucks and does, in 
Delamere forest, the exact number not being known. In 
Wirral forest two men who had killed a stag were released 
from imprisonment on paying the respective fines of 40^. and 
2os. In another case in the same forest the transgressors had 
been hunting deer with a strangely mixed pack, consisting of 
a greyhound, a mastiff, and a cur. 

The presentments at these pleas were made, for Wirral, by 
William de Stanley, keeper ; Henry de Acton, riding forester, 
and by Richard de Haydock and five other foresters ; those for 
Mara et Moudrem, or Delamere, by Richard Doun, keeper, 
Thomas de Clyve, riding forester, and by Robert Shefeld and 
six other foresters. 



Cheshire possessed another considerable forest on the east 
side of the county. About a third of the large hundred of 
Macclesfield, including the town of Macclesfield and eighteen 
other townships, was forest even at the time of the Domesday 
Survey. It was usually known as the forest of Macclesfield ; 
but in its earlier life, from its position on the borders of the 
palatinate, it was often called the forest of Lyme. The heredi- 
tary forestership or keepership of this forest, in conjunction 
with that of Leek, was granted to Richard Davenport, of 
Davenport, towards the end of the twelfth century, by Hugh 
Kevelioc, Earl of Chester. It continued attached to the earl- 
dom of Chester until its termination, when it passed to the 
Crown. But at an early date the forest area was materially 
lessened by a variety of Crown grants. A considerable por- 
tion, however, was not alienated from the Crown until after 
the Restoration. Up to the period of the Commonwealth the 
open forest was fairly well stocked with deer. Under the chief 
forester there were eight hereditary foresters-of-fee, bound to the 
performance of certain duties (often exercised by deputy), and 
possessed of considerable liberties. In the time of Edward I. 
the foresters' liberties included the hunting of hare, fox, squirrel, 
and cat, with rights of fishing, fowling, and nutting. In addi- 
tion to pannage and pasturage liberties, they also claimed the 
forearm (spandd) of deer taken in the forest, and all of any 
deer found dead in the forest, save the four limbs, which went 
to the manor of Macclesfield. 

Swainmotes were regularly held at Macclesfield, and forest 
pleas, from time to time, in the same town, under the justice of 
Chester. Ormerod (iii. 539) gives a transcript of a swainmote 
of this forest temp. Elizabeth, and a few other particulars ; but 
the history of this forest remains practically unwritten, and not 
for lack of material. 


THE ancient forest of Needwood was situated in the 
northern extremity of the hundred of Offlow, and in 
the four parishes of Tutbury, Hanbury, Tatenhill, and 
Yoxall. It was famed not only for the beauty, extent, and 
size of its timber, but more especially for the richness of its 
pasture land. 

The earliest particulars with regard to Needwood forest, 
whilst it was yet under the control of the Ferrers, occur in the 
minister's accounts for 1255-6. The foresters named for Tut- 
bury ward were Robert Coan and Robert de Wynfleth ; among 
the receipts were 13^. lod. for the sale of dead wood, 3^. ^d. 
for the sale of forty customary rent hens, JS. %d. for agistment 
of cattle, 7-r. 8d., and for a charcoal-burner's licence for ten 
and a half weeks, i is. ^d. The court fines of this ward in- 
cluded several penalties of 6d. for collecting nuts, and one 
for charcoal burning without a licence, but were chiefly for vert 
offences. The total ward receipts were 2 i8s. 6d. Barton 
ward produced 4. gs. 8d. ; Marchington ward, 3 i6.r. i\\d. ; 
and Uttoxeter ward, 2 gs. id. The swine turned out in the 
forest for pannage amounted to 227, of which twelve went for 
tithe, six in alms, one to the steward, and one to the chief 

( On the attainder of Robert Earl Ferrers in 1266, his confis- 
cated estates were granted by Henry III. to his son Edmund, 
afterwards created Earl of Lancaster. One of the finest portions 
of these estates, afterwards known as the Duchy of Lancaster, 
was the honor of Tutbury, and within its limits was the splendidly 
wooded and exceptionally fertile stretch of Needwood forest. 
An extent of the lands of Edmund, the king's brother, drawn 


up 1298, gives definite particulars relative to Needwood forest. 
It was then divided into the five wards of Yoxall, Barton, 
Tutbury, Marchington, and Uttoxeter. 

In Yoxall ward the agistment of cattle produced 30^., the 
sale of bark of lime trees 14^. $d. the pannage of swine 30^., 
and court fees and escapes 6s. 8d. The sum of 'js. yd. was also 
realised by the sale of eighty-eight hens, the customary payment 
of the tenants. In this ward was Rowley Park, the profits of 
which in herbage, mast, and wood was i 6s. 8d. The whole 
profits of the ward came to 13 i$s. 

The profits of the ward of Barton from the like sources were 
,5 6s. gd. Barton Park was in this ward, together with a hay 
called High Lindes. 

Tutbury ward, including the parks of Rolleston, Hanbury, 
and Stockley, and Castlehay, produced 12 los. 8d. 

The hens, agistment, pannage, woodmote fees, etc., of 
Marchington ward, with the park of Agardsley, made receipts 
to the amount of 6 is. Sd. 

The like sources in Uttoxeter ward, together with the herb- 
age and mast of a hay called the More, produced ,3 i8s. q.d. 

The annual value of the whole forest, etc. (apart from all 
demesne lands and manorial rights, which were ten times the 
value of the forest), amounted at this date to ,41 i is. $d. 

There is also a full record extant of the forest accounts for 
1313-14. Robert de Cruce was the receiver of Tutbury ward. 
The receipts included 5^. $d. for the sale of forty-two hens ; 
2s. 8d. for wood ; 2s. for passage of carts and pack-horses ; 
26s. id. for agistment of cattle ; 103^. for agistment in Castle- 
hay; 25.?. qd. for the like in Stokely Park, and 12^. in Hanbury 
Park; Jis. 2d. for windstrewn boughs for deer in winter; 
9-r. for shingles ; 8 for all underwood in the ward and Castle- 
hay sold for deer in winter ; 8 for the like in Rolleston 
Park, and 2 in Hanbury Park ; gd. for honey and wax ; 
2s. q.d. for sale of a stray bullock ; 5 15^. 6d. in woodmote fees; 
3.?. $^d. for sale of 167 old pales of Stokely Park, and 23^. 
for the old pales of Hanbury Park ; yielding a total of 
51 IQS. q.d. The expenses came to ^43 i8s. ^\d. ; the wages 
of the men getting the deer-browse in the ward and Castlehay 
amounted to i6s. 4^.; making 167 new pales for Stokely Park, 
IQS. 4ff. ; and 3,?. for lock and door for the forest lodge at 


Birkley. The wages of the parkers of Hanbury and Rolleston 
were each 15^. 2d., whilst that of the parker of Castlehay was 
3OJ. ^d. 

The receipts of Barton ward, Ralph Laying receiver, were 
13 \2s. yd., and the expenses 13 5-r. 2d. John Don was the 
receiver of Marchington ; receipts .27 2s. 7%d., expenses 
28 2s. >]\d. Robert de Tuppeleye was receiver of Uttoxeter ; 
receipts 50 15.?. o^d., expenses 22 I2S. 6\d. The receipts of 
Yoxall ward, Richard Coking receiver, were 34 ijs. 8^d., 
whilst the expenses were 29 igs. jd. 

In the accounts of 1321-2, the expenses include ^d. a day 
to a carpenter engaged for three days in mending the gates 
of the Castlehay Park, \\d. a day for three days for fourteen 
men engaged in ditching, and 3^. for an iron for branding the 

Woodmote courts were held for each ward. A forest roll 
of 1336-7 (in bad condition) gives 2S. 6d. as the receipts of the 
woodmote of Tutbury ward, held on February nth, in vert 
fines, chiefly for taking whitethorn. The taking of a cartload 
of greenwood out of Hanbury Park incurred a fine of 6d. The 
fines for vert trespasses in Castlehay amounted to qs. 4^., in- 
cluding i$d. for taking a horseload of old wood. The fines 
about this date at the court of Marchington ward amounted 
to 2s. iod., and included the straying of foals in the wood. 

The woodmote courts of the five wards, held about Martin- 
mas, 1370, brought in a larger amount of fines: Tutbury, 
gs. id. ; Marchington, 9^-. qd. ; Yoxall, 3^. iod. ; Barton, 3^.; 
and Uttoxeter, 2s. iod. The penalties were chiefly for remov- 
ing horse, cart, or wagon loads of wood. 

A full woodmote roll of 1-2 Richard II. gives 7 6s. jd. as 
the total of the fines of all the courts of that year. A sledge- 
load of wood, called drag, or draw, is of frequent occurrence in 
this roll. The vert fines varied from 2d. to 8d. a case. At a 
Marchington ward woodmote, there were four cases of removing 
cartloads of old wood, four of green wood, and two of a mixture 
of old and green ; the horseloads were thirteen in number, and 
the sledgeloads sixteen. 

The pannage fees of the whole forest, termed " tak," realised 
in 1400 5 gs. $^d. The total forest receipts of that year 
amounted to 43 is. \\d. 


At an unusually heavy Marchington woodmote in 1403, when 
the fines amounted to us. qd., the penalty in each case for 
a cartload of wood was 8d., and for a horseload 6d. An in- 
quisition held that year in Tutbury ward convicted Robert 
Amond, John Roberg, John Fuklyn, and Giles Fuklyn, monks 
of the Cluniac priory of Tutbury, of breaking into the castle 
park, on Thursday, after the feast of St. Margaret, and there 
killing a doe and a fawn. This is one of the very few cases 
of conviction of monks for venison trespass. Woodmotes 
of this year were held at Birkley, or Byrkley, the site of the 
chief lodge. 

A few years later the Benedictine monks of Burton were 
in trouble, but only for wood trespass. 

Rolls relative to the minor forest courts of Needwood for the 
fifteenth and first half of the sixteenth centuries are exception- 
ally numerous. 

At the forest woodmote held at Birkley on i5th May, 1450, 
various venison trespasses were presented, such as making 
snares (retia) and buckstalls, breaking into parks, hunting 
with greyhounds, and killing several fallow deer. There were 
seventeen separate charges, some of which involved several 

Various other records of woodmotes held in the last half 
of the fifteenth century are well worth consulting. 

At the woodmote held on 3rd June, 1524, at Birkley Lodge, 
thirty-one trespassers in Tutbury ward were fined in small sums 
for ordinary lopping offences one for breaking park pales, 
another 2s. for cutting eight oaks, and two men 3-r. q.d. each 
for carrying off two cartloads of wood. The fines for this ward 
amounted to 18^. 6d. At the same court the fines in Barton 
ward were $s. yd., in Yoxall QS. 8d., in Uttoxeter 2s. 10^., 
and in Marchington 13^. gd. 

In Sir Oswald Mosley's History ofTamworth (1832) various 
interesting particulars of the forest customs of Needwood and 
Duffield are set forth at length. 

The abbot of Burton-on-Trent and the prior of Tutbury held 
special privileges and peculiar rights in the forest of Needwood. 
One of the many unforeseen unhappy results of the wholesale 
suppression of the religious houses was the throwing into 
confusion of a variety of forest customs. Those on whom 





the monastic estates were conferred not unnaturally endeavoured 
to sustain claims that had not been resisted when made by 
the public almoners of a district. Considerable conflict arose 
with regard to such matters at Needwood, and the absence 
of the checks exercised by the woodwards, appointed by various 
religious houses in most English forests, was one of the chief 
causes that led in this district to much wrongdoing on the part 
of the officials. 

The detection of a particular keeper in a grave case of 
peculation in 1540 brought about a careful inquiry into the 
general conduct of the officials. It was then ascertained that 
in a single year the keeper of Tutbury Wood had .cut down 
and sold 45 loads of timber, the keeper of Marchingdon, in 
loads ; the keeper of Barton, 170 loads ; the keeper of Yoxall, 
124; and the keeper of Uttoxeter, 64. No forest could possibly 
stand the drain of an annual sale of 841 loads. The fraudulent 
keepers were discharged, and a certain amount of reformation 

A survey of the parks of Needwood was taken in the reign 
of Philip and Mary, when the jury found that the deer of 
the castle park numbered 137, that those in Rolleston Park 
numbered 105 ; those of Stokeley Park, 160 ; those of Barton 
Park, 104 ; those of Shireholt Park, 144 ; those of High Lynns 
Park, 127 ; and that Castlehay Park had been disparked in 
favour of the king's "race of great horses," and Hanbury 
Park reserved for the king's stud mares. A great waste of 
trees was in progress, and it was known that many had been 
cut down without any warrant, as the stools still standing showed 
no sign of the mark of the king's axe. Among the claims then 
made by the tenants or commoners was that of "hoar lynt." 
This term signified the white wood of the lime or linden 
tree after the basters had stripped such timber of the bast or 
inner bark for cordage or mats. 

, The survey of the first of Elizabeth, cited at length in Shaw's 
Staffordshire, says : 

"The forest or chase of Needwood is in compasse by estimation 
twenty-three miles and a half, and the nearest part thereof is distant 
from the Castle of Tutbury but one mile. In it are 7,869 acres and 
an halfe, and very forest-like ground, thinly sett with old oakes and 
timber trees, well replenished with coverts of underwood and thornes, 


which might be copiced in divers parts thereof for increase of wood 
and timber, lately sore decayed and spoyled." 

After giving the bounds and acreage of the four wards 
then extant, and naming the former fifth ward of Uttoxeter, 
the survey enumerates the ten parks within the forest, but 
Rowley Park had been granted by Henry VIII. to Justice 
Fitzherbert and his heirs. 

The size of the nine parks of Castle, Castlehay, Rolleston, 
Stokeley, Hanbury, Barton, Shireholt, Highlands, and Agards- 
ley, with the number of deer and condition of timber in each, 
are also duly set forth. 

Elizabethan records of Needwood woodmotes are numerous. 
A woodmote was held at Birkley on iyth August, 1581, before 
George, Earl of Shrewsbury, high steward of the whole honor 
of Tutbury, in person. The jury were William Rolleston, 
Esquire ; Humphrey Minors, William Agard, and Arthur 
Whittington, gentlemen, and eleven yeomen. The con- 
victions for various forms of vert offences were unusually 
numerous at this court, as well as a few cases of pasturing 
sheep and cart-horses in the forest. The penalties exacted 
amounted to 9 i$s. 4^. 

The next woodmote was held at Tutbury on i6th July, 
1582, when the fines reached the exceptionally high total of 
22 is. $d. Two or three persons were fined on this occasion 
for not taking their pigs out of the forest wards during 'Me 
fence monethe." 

At the pannage court held at Newborough in November of 
this year, the fees for the pigs amounted to 48.?. \\d. 

There are several rolls extant of woodmote courts of the 
reigns of James I. and Charles I., but they contain nothing of 
particular moment. 

In 1654 ^e forest of Needwood was offered for sale "for the 
satisfaction of the soldiery." The knights, gentlemen, and 
other inhabitants of twenty-one of the adjoining villages 
and townships thereupon petitioned Oliver Cromwell, point- 
ing out the injustice of enclosing the forest area then reduced 
to 5,600 acres, and only worth about $s. an acre whereby the 
old charter rights of many would be lost, and a great number 
of ancient cottagers deprived of the relief afforded by the 


commons. It was also pointed out that the county of Stafford 
had already paid near 8,000 towards the soldiery on their dis- 
banding. The last reason offered against the sale was, "That 
the forest of Needwood is mearly formed by nature for pleasure, 
no forest in England being comparable thereunto." 

This petition caused the project of the sale to be abandoned ; 
but in 1656 a compromise was arrived at, whereby commis- 
sioners were appointed to consider all claims, and in 1658 it 
was agreed that half the open forest and one-tenth of the 
timber should be allotted to the freeholders, and the remainder 
be continued as the property of the State. The project went 
so far as to have the respective divisions for the different town- 
ships staked out and allotted. But the Restoration intervened 
ere the work was accomplished, and Charles II. decided to 
preserve the forest in its original state. 

It was difficult to suppress the licence engendered during 
the time of civil strife. Eventually the duchy authorities over- 
reached themselves by attempting to impose a new code of by- 
laws of great severity and doubtful legality. 

About the year 1680, "the gentlemen, freeholders and others 
who have right of Common in the Forest or Chace of Need- 
wood " drew up a petition (printed as a broadsheet) to the 
House of Commons, protesting against the arbitrary orders of 
Earl Stamford, as chancellor of the duchy, recently published, 
and asking relief, as their ancient rights and liberties were 
being invaded. The chief of these orders were a fine of IDS. 
and forfeiture of cattle bearing a counterfeit mark ; a fine of 
10 apiece to the informer and forfeiture of cattle privately 
removed out of the forest after notice of a public drift ; a fine 
of 5-r., or 6s. 8d. in the case of a keeper, for conveying grist to 
any other mill than the Wood Mill ; a month's imprisonment 
for taking any crabtree, whitethorn, holly, or hazel out of the 
forest or parks ; 6s. 8d. fine for each beast on any commoner 
,or other person foddering cattle in the forest between the 
Feast of St. Andrew and the end of March ; the forfeiture of 
all swine in the forest save in crab-time, and a like forfeiture 
and fine of 3^. 4^. on every swine insufficiently rung ; sheep 
pasturing in forest to be forfeited, and i2s. a day fine for each 
sheep. These orders and others of a like nature had appeared 
under the great seal of the duchy, and had been read in all the 


parish churches within or about the forest to the great disturb- 
ance of the people. The petitioners protested against the 
exorbitant character of the fines and forfeitures, the setting up 
of informers by great rewards, and the imprisonment of their 
persons, claiming that such penalties could not be imposed 
save by Act of Parliament. 

Notwithstanding, however, the damage done to the forest in 
the Civil War, and the little check put upon depredations in the 
earlier part of the reign of Charles II., the timber of Needwood 
was at this period by far the finest in any English forest. A 
careful survey made in 1684 showed that the number of good 
trees in the four wards was 38,218, valued at ,25,744 I 9 J * 6^. ; 
whilst those in the parks brought up the total to 47,150, with 
a complete value of 28,637 us. 6d. The hollies and under- 
wood were valued at an additional 2,000. 

" Many of the treese are of soe large dimensions and length, that 
there may be picked out such great quantityes of excellent plank and 
other tymber, fitt for shipping, as is not to be found in any of your 
majestie's other forests in England ; most parts of this where the best 
tymber growes, lyeing within 12 or 14 miles of the navigable parte of 
the river Trent." 

The abundance of the deer proved an irresistible temptation 
to the poorer of the commoners, and though the gentlemen and 
yeomen did not exactly turn deer-stealers themselves, as in some 
of the southern forests, there was much sympathy with the 
poachers, who checked the depredations of the deer, and kept 
the country houses illicitly supplied with venison. The parks 
leased by the Crown to private individuals were rigorously pro- 
tected ; but the open stretches of the forest in the eighteenth 
century, though nominally well supplied with high-born officials 
and underkeepers or foresters, were, to a great extent, a prey 
to marauders. 

An undated account of the duchy forests, temp. George I., 
at the Public Record Office, states that Needwood forest had 
been granted to William Duke of Devonshire, William Marquis 
of Hartington, and Henry Lord Cavendish, with the offices of 
steward of the honor, constable of the Castle of Tutbury, 
lieutenant of the forest, master of the game, and bailiff of the 
new liberties. Castlehay Park had been granted in 1677 for 


ninety-nine years to Henry Seymour. The parks of Hanbury 
and Tutbury, for a like period, in 1698, to Edward Vernon ; 
and two of the other parks at the same, and also for ninety-nine 
years, to Sir John Turton. 

Mr. Mundy, the poet of Needwood, left it on record that he 
had known and conversed with a gentleman of the district, 
who had been high-sheriff of Staffordshire in the reign of 
George II., who used to boast how many deer poachers he 
had got off when arrested by the keepers, and how well they 
used to keep his table supplied with venison. 

After considerable opposition, Needwood was at last dis- 
afforested by special Act of Parliament in 1804. The damage 
done to cultivation by the straying deer was no doubt exces- 
sive, and there were other distinct drawbacks to its continuance 
as a forest. Nevertheless, the general scheme of enclosure 
naturally aroused keen resentment among the lovers of its 
picturesque beauties and historic associations. Mr. F. N. C. 
Mundy, who had printed a stilted poem in 1776, called 
Needwood Forest, after the classical descriptive style then in 
vogue, produced, in 1808, a wild screed termed The Fall of 
Needwood, which, by its very extravagance, caused the utili- 
tarian view to be the more appreciated. The following passage 
is a fair example of the character and style of its forty-five 
pages : 

'Twas Avarice with his harpy claws, 
Great Victim ! rent thy guardian laws ; 
Loos'd Uproar with his ruffian bands ; 
Bade Havoc show his crimson'd hands ; 
Grinn'd a coarse smile, as thy last deer 
Dropp'd in thy lap a dying 1 tear ; 
Exulted in his schemes accurst, 
When thy pierc'd heart, abandon'd, burst ; 
And glozing on the public good, 
Insidious demon ! suck'd thy blood. 
Detested ever be tfoat day, 
Which left thee a defenceless prey ! 
May never sun its presence cheer ! 
| O be it blotted from the year ! 


There were two other Staffordshire forests besides Needwood 
-Cannock Chase and Kinver, both of which require investi- 


gating. The exigencies of space prohibit more than very brief 
references to them in these pages. 

Cannock Chase, notwithstanding its name, was an exten- 
sive royal forest. It seems to have taken its title from the Bishop 
of Lichfield's Chase, fifteen miles in circuit, which was within 
the forest limits, and proved a constant source of grievance to 
the king's foresters. General Wrottesley has printed the pleas 
of the forest of Cannock for 1262, 1271, and 1286, in Vol. V. 
of Historical Collections for a History of Staffordshire (1884) ; 
they abound in interest as to the venison and vert present- 
ments, and the assarts and wastes of woods that came before 
the justices at these eyres. A venison offender in 1271 was 
pardoned, for the soul of the king, because he was poor 
and a minstrel, and two others were respited and forgiven 
non-attendance because they were in the Holy Land. One 
Thomas de Bromley, a very frequent malefactor of venison, 
and often indicted for trespasses in the king's forests in 
Staffordshire and Salop, was caught with bow and arrows 
in the bailiwick of Teddesley, on Tuesday after the Feast 
of St. Gregory, 1267, by Walter de Elmedon, forester-of-fee 
of that bailiwick, and Roger de Pecham, riding forester for 
the whole forest. The foresters challenged him, whereupon 
Thomas climbed up an oak tree and shot arrows at them, until 
they took him by force and delivered him to the warden of the 
castle of Bridgnorth. There were many presentments at this 
eyre for the killing of roe deer. 

Hugh de Evesham, a former riding forester, with other ex- 
foresters, were presented for stopping all carts passing through 
their bailiwicks with salt and other merchandise on the high 
roads, taking 4^. at least in the name of cheminage, and for 
other carts, I.F., and in some cases 2s. And this was done 
when the carts were not laden with timber or brushwood or 
anything from the forest, and when the carters were committing 
no forest trespass. 

In 1276 when the king's huntsmen were hunting in Cannock 
Chase, they put up a hart with their dogs and followed it to 
Brewood Park. There John de la Wytemore came up with 
bow and arrow and shot at it ; the hart fled out of the forest to the 
fishpond of the nuns of Brewood. John followed it and dragged 
it out dead from the pond. Then John Gyffard, of Chyllynton, 


came up, said he had pursued the hart, and claimed the whole 
of it. They skinned it ; John Gyffard took half of it, and the 
nuns had the other half. This case was brought before the 
justices at the eyre of 1286. The nuns were pardoned for 
the good of the king's soul, as they were poor. Although 
the hart was taken outside the forest, it was the king's chase 
and put up by his dogs within the forest, and taken in front of 
them against the assize. The sheriff was therefore ordered 
to arrest the two Johns ; they were taken and committed to 
prison, but released on paying the respective fines of a mark 
and 2os. The case of the wolf killing a buck in this forest in 
1281 has been already cited. 

The Close Rolls of Edward I. give evidence, from the 
various royal gifts, of a good supply of fallow deer, with 
a smaller number of red deer on the forest or chase of Cannock. 
In August, 1277, the king ordered the keeper of Cannock 
Forest to permit William de Middleton, Archdeacon of Canter- 
bury, to take by his men all the fat harts and bucks that were 
fit to kill that season, and to aid and counsel the men in so 
doing. In the same month, 1279, the king granted Roger 
Mortimer ten bucks and two harts from Cannock. In 1280 
Anthony Bek had four bucks, Richard de Tybetot the same 
number, and Philip Marmyon three. In 1282, Ralph de 
Hengham had six bucks, Henry de Shaventon, Reginald de 
Legh, and Otto de Grandi Sono four each, and the Prior of 
Stone one, all out of this forest as gifts from the king. Ralph 
Basset, of Drayton, had six bucks in 1283. Roger Lestrange, 
justice of the forest, was instructed, in July, 1284, to cause the 
Bishop of Worcester to have twelve bucks of the king's gift 
out of the forest of Cannock ; and in the same year Reginald 
de Legh received two bucks. On December 28th, 1284, the 
king sent word to Roger Lestrange that if the order given in 
the summer for the bucks for the Bishop of Worcester had not 
been executed, it was to be changed to six live bucks and six 
live does from Cannock, to stock that prelate's park at Alve- 

The king was also generous with timber gifts, oaks from 
Cannock for building purposes being bestowed on the priory 
of St. Thomas, Stafford, the priory of Cokehill, and the 
Franciscan friars of Lichfield. When the king was at Bre- 


wood in 1278, near Wolverhampton, a fire broke out ; the 
justice of the forest was ordered to supply from Can nock four 
oaks to Henry le Mercer, of Brewood, Dean of Lichfield, 
four oaks to Philip le Clerk, and two oaks to Widow Amice, to 
aid in the rebuilding of their lately burnt houses. 


The presentments at the Staffordshire eyres in Edward I.'s 
reign for the smaller forest of Kinver have also been printed by 
General Wrottesley. 

The Close Rolls of the same reign contain many references 
to the forest of Kinver. In August, 1278, the king instructed 
Henry de Ribbeford to cause thirty bucks to be taken 
for him in the forests of Kinver and Cannock, as should 
be agreed upon between the respective keepers. Grimbald 
Pauncefote obtained three Kinver bucks in the same year. 
In 1281 four live hinds were granted to Ralph Basset from 
Kinver to help to stock his park of Drayton. A further proof 
that red as well as fallow roamed over Kinver is the grant 
of six harts to Edmund Mortimer in 1286. Two years later 
John, the son of Philip, the keeper of Kinver Forest, was 
ordered to deliver all eyries of falcons found that year in 
the forest to John Corbet, the king's falconer, to be kept for 
the king's use. 

In 1282 the king ordered the release from prison of Richard 
Saladyn, who was in gaol at Bridgnorth for venison trespass. 
Bridgnorth was the prison for this forest, as well as for Can- 
nock ; the official calendar of these Close Rolls has made the 
amusing mistake of putting Saladyn in prison at Bruges, in 
Belgium ! Bruges was the usual Latinised form for the town 
of Bridgnorth. 

Among Edward I.'s timber grants from Kinver were six oaks 
to Margery de Wigornia, a nun of St. Wystan, Worcester ; 
six oaks to the master of St. Wolfstan's, Worcester ; ten oaks 
for fuel to Contisse Loretti, wife of Roger de Clifford, a forest 
justice ; and twenty oaks for shingles to Anthony Bek. 

The perambulation roll of 1299-1300 shows the considerable 
extent of Kinver Forest at that date. Part of Arley, with Ash- 
wood and Pensnet Chase, in addition to the parish of Kinver, 


were included in the forest, as well as part of Morfe in Shrop- 
shire ; but the greater part of Kinver Forest then lay in Wor- 
cestershire, for it embraced Pechmore, Hagley, Old Swinford, 
Chaddesley, Kidderminster, Wolverley, Churchill, and part 
of Feckenham, in addition to Tordebig, in Warwickshire. 

Nevertheless, although most of its area was in Worcester- 
shire, and its prison in Shropshire, Kinver Forest, taking 
its title from the small Staffordshire town of that name, was 
always reckoned as a forest of the last of these three shires. 


THE king's forest of the High Peak was a wild district 
that formed part of the patrimony of the Anglo-Saxon 
kings, and was royal demesne at the time of the Great 
Survey. The parish of Hope and other adjacent lands were 
granted by the Conqueror in 1068 to William Peverel in con- 
junction with numerous lordships in Derbyshire, Nottingham- 
shire, and other counties which were known as the honor of 
Peverel. On the south side of the Vale of Hope, in a place 
of remarkable natural strength, Peverel built a castle, on the 
site of a former stronghold, which had given the name of 
Castleton to the cluster of houses below it. Twenty years 
later the district around is styled the land of Peverel's Castle 
in Peak Forest (terrain castelli in Pechefers Willelmi Peurel). 
The district of Longdendale was added to the Peverel property 
in the time of Henry I. On Peverel's death in 1114, his vast 
possessions passed to his son, but in 1155 a younger Peverel 
was disinherited for poisoning the Earl of Chester, and all his 
estates were forfeited to the Crown. From that time until 1372, 
the castle and forest of the Peak were in the hands of the Crown, 
when they were transferred to the Duchy of Lancaster, and 
thence returned to the Crown by absorption in the following 

At the beginning of the twelfth century, the forest of the 
Peak included the whole of the north-west corner of the county. 
The Hope district embraced the seven berewicks of Aston, 
Edale, " Muckedswell," half of Offerton, Shatton, Stoke, and 
Tideswell ; whilst Longdendale included the whole of the 
wide-spreading parish of Glossop, and much that was extra 



parochial. According to somewhat later parochial divisions, 
the forest comprised the whole of the parishes of Glossop, 
Chapel-en-le-Frith, Castleton, and Hope, with most of Tides- 
well, considerable portions of Bakewell, and part of Hather- 

It formed altogether an area of 40! square miles. 

From the time when Longendale was added to the honor of 
Peverel, in the days of Henry L, the Peak Forest was divided 
into three districts, each having its own set of foresters, but all 
under one chief official. These three districts were known as 
Campana (i.e. the Champagne, or open country) on the south 
and south-west, Longdendale on the north and north-west, 
and Hopedale on the east. 

The bounds of the forest, as set forth in the Forest Pleas held 
in 1286, were as follows, given in an English dress : 

"The metes and bounds of the forest of the Peak begin on the 
south at the New Place of Goyt, and thence by the river Goyt as far 
as the river Etherow ; and so by the river Etherow to Langley Croft 
at Longdenhead ; thence by a certain footpath to the head of Der- 
went ; and from the head of Derwent to a place called Mythomstede 
(Mytham Bridge) ; and from Mytham Bridge to the river Bradwell ; 
and from the river Bradwell as far as a certain place called Hucklow ; 
and from Hucklow to the great dell (cavam, cave?) of Hazelbache ; 
and from that dell as far as Little Hucklow ; and from Hucklow 
to the brook of Tideswell, and so to the river Wye ; and from the 
Wye ascending up to Buxton, and so on to the New Place of Goyt." 

In the case of a considerable number of forests there was 
much variation in their bounds subsequent to 1300 ; but the 
limits of Peak Forest remained to its close the same as they 
were in the thirteenth century. 

The place where the forest justice held his inquisitions was 
usually termed the Justice Seat. This Justice Seat was occa- 
sionally held in different localities, or even in a temporary 
booth or tent, as in the great Northamptonshire forest of 
Rockingham ; but the Justice Seat for the Peak Forest was 
about the centre of the district, in an extra parochial part, about 
equal distance from Castleton, Tideswell, and Bowden. Here 
stood a chief forestry residence and hall termed Camera in 
foresta regia Pecci, or Camera in Campana, with a chapel 
attached. This chapel was of earlier date than the large chapel 


built by the foresters and keepers at Bowden about 1225, 
which place was henceforth usually known as Chapel-en-le- 
Frith. The Chamber of the Peak was not so important a 
place as the central lodge of many other forests, because the 
keeper of the Peak Forest being usually associated with the 
custody of the castle, the residence of the chief local official 
was at Castleton. The prison was at the castle of the Peak, 
and the baily of the castle was sometimes made to serve as a 
great pound for illegally pastured sheep ; but there is no 
instance of the Justice Seat or even a swainmote being held 
at Castleton. 

There are, unfortunately, too few records left of the smaller 
forest courts of the Peak to speak with confidence as to the 
regular holding of the frequent attachment courts or swain- 
motes in all the bailiwicks for any long period ; but there are 
sufficient incidental references to show that such swainmotes 
were held in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries for 
Campana at the Chamber of the Forest, for Longdendale at 
Chapel-en-le-Frith, and for Hopedale at Hope. Subsequently 
the greater swainmote courts were held at Tideswell and at 
Chapel-en-le-Frith, though sometimes at Campana Lodge or 
Chamber of the Forest instead of at Tideswell. 

In several of the larger forests, and notably in Peak Forest, 
there were hereditary foresters-of-fee. In this case, when the 
question of their origin came up at forest pleas, they always 
claimed to date back to the times of William Peverel. There 
were a certain number originally four, though afterwards 
subdivided for each of the three great bailiwicks of the Peak 
Forest who held certain bovates of land in serjeanty, dis- 
charging their obligations in one case by the hunting of wolves 
(see chapter iv.), and in the others by some amount of forest 
supervision. In two of the three bailiwicks they had sworn 
grooms or servants under them. This kind of forestership 
could be held by women and by clerks, but the duties had 
then to be discharged by deputy. The foresters-of-fee were 
bound to attend all courts, even the frequent swainmotes of 
their bailiwick, in person or by authorised sworn deputy. 

The tenure by which such foresters held their land is made 
clear by divers inquisitions after death. Adam Gomfrey, 
32 Edward I., died seized of a messuage and fifteen acres at 


Wormhill held per servicium custodiendi pecci forestam. 
Walter de Nevil, 34 Edward I., died seized of thirty acres 
at Wormhill held per servicium custodiendi forestam. Nicholas 
Foljambe, at his death, 13 Edward II., held a messuage and 
thirty acres by the serjeanty of keeping the king's forest of 
Campana, in the Peak, per corpus suum cum arcu et sagittis. 
Thomas Foljambe, 17 Edward II., held fifteen acres at Worm- 
hill, by the service of finding a footman with bow and arrows 
to keep the Peak Forest. Maria Hansted, n Edward III., 
held land at Blackbrook, Fairfield, Hope, etc. , per custodiendi 
wardam de Hopedale in foresta de Pecco. 

On the numerous early incised slabs that are found in 
Derbyshire churches in the neighbourhood or within the 
bounds of Peak Forest, dating from the time of Henry II. to 
Henry III., there are not a few symbols that betoken slabs 
which are obviously memorials of forest ministers. The horn 
of a forester appears at the base of an incised cross at Darley 
Dale, which has a sword on the sinister side. At Wirksworth 
is an earlier one, with a belted bugle horn on one side of the 
cross, and a sword on the other. At Hope there is a third 
early slab with a sword on one side and a belted bugle horn, 
with an arrow below it, on the other. In each of these cases 
the burial of a forester-of-fee is denoted, the sword (which had 
no forest signification) probably denoting knightly rank. At 
the unhappy and wholly unnecessary demolition of Hope 
chancel another cross slab, with only a stringed bugle-horn on 
the dexter side, was also brought to light. 

Among the large collection of early incised slabs at Bake- 
well is one on which a bow is denoted by a curved line on the 
sinister side of the cross-stem, the stem serving as the bow- 
string ; a small arrow projects from the string. 

A square-headed axe laid athwart the cross-stem appears 
on slabs at Chelmorton and Killamarsh, probably denoting a 
verderer, or head woodward, or " axe-bearer." The ordinary 
woodward, and in some forests the verderer, only bore a small 
lopping axe or billhook, and not a felling axe. Such billhooks 
appear on early incised slabs at Sutton-in-the-Dale and North 

Examples of the Derbyshire incised slabs to forest ministers 
have been illustrated in chapter iii. 


There is a peculiarly interesting brass in Dronfield Church 
to Thomas Gomfrey, rector, who died in 1389, and his brother, 
Richard Gomfrey, rector of Tatershall. On the brass is a 
forester's horn. Thomas was hereditary forester-of-fee ; he 
was the great grandson of Adam Gomfrey, forester of Campana 
at the eyre of 1286. 

The abundance of deer in this forest in Norman days seems 
to have been something astonishing. Giraldus Cambrensis 
tells us that in his days (iiostris dtedus), c. 1194, the number of 
the deer was so great in the Peak district that they trampled 
both dogs and men to death in the impetuosity of their 

In the extensive grant of lands and church at Glossop in 
Longdendale by Henry II. to the Flintshire abbey of Basing- 
werk, the king reserved to himself the venison, but allowed the 
abbot's tenants to take hares, foxes, and wolves. 

The accounts rendered by Robert de Ashbourn, bailiff of the 
forest and castle of the Peak, for the year 1235-6, are of much 
interest. The receipts amounted to 201 2s. io^d., whilst the 
expenses were 184 12s. yd. In this year the king visited 
Peak Castle, when bailiff Ashbourn, as lord of the jurisdic- 
tion, presented him with four wild boars and forty-two geese, 
and charged 16^. 3\d. for the same in his accounts. The 
castle that year underwent considerable repairs. 10 is. 8d. 
from the pleas of the hundred or wapentake court were among 
the receipts, and we suppose that the sums of 6 igs. ^d. and 
^"39 igs. 6d. from the respective itineraries through the 
demesnes and forests, represent the fines, etc., accruing re- 
spectively from the manorial and the swainmote courts. This 
is the earliest known detailed document of the Peak juris- 

Forest pleas were expected to be held at least every seven 
years, but the Peak Forest is one of the numerous cases in which 
far longer intervals occurred. The forest justices held their 
eyre for the Peak in 1216. This was followed by an interval of 
thirty-five years, for the next pleas were not held until 1251. 
Of these pleas, held before Geoffrey Langley and other jus- 
tices, very full records are extant. 

The following were the bailiffs of the honor of the Peak 
during the period covered by this eyre : William Ferrers, 


Earl of Derby, 1216-22; Brian de Insula, 1222-28; Robert 
de Lexington, 1228-33; Ralph Fitz-Nicholas, 1233-34; J onn 
Goband, 1234-37 ; Thomas de Furnival, 1237 (f r slx 
months) ; Warner Engaine, 1237-42 ; John de Grey, 1242-48 ; 
and William de Horsenden, 1249. They were appointed by 
Crown patents. 

The presentment of venison trespasses were made by the 
hereditary foresters and the verderers. This roll is headed by 
the wholesale charge made against William de Ferrers, Earl 
of Derby (who had died in 1246), in conjunction with Ralph de 
Beaufoy, of Trusley, William May, the earl's huntsman, 
Richard Curzon, of Chaddesden, and Henry de Elton, of 
having taken in the king's forest of the Peak, during the six 
years when the earl was bailiff (1216-22), upwards of 2,000 head 
of game (deer). Ralph, Robert, and Henry appeared, and on 
conviction were imprisoned ; but they were released on paying 
heavy fines, and finding twelve mainpernors for their good 
conduct. Robert Curzon was fined 40 ; the first of his twelve 
mainpernors was William Curzon, of Croxall. Ralph Beaufoy 
was fined 10 ; the first of his mainpernors was Sir William 
de Meysam. May, the huntsman, did not appear ; it was re- 
ported he was in Norfolk, and the justices ordered him to be 
attached. If the full actual pleadings were extant, there can 
be no doubt, judging from the customs of other forests, that 
the companions of the earl would have been able to show that 
a considerable percentage of the deer taken when he held 
office were fee deer, to which he was entitled by usage for 
himself and his deputies, and that many others were the usual 
and recognised gifts to the country gentlemen of the district 
to secure their goodwill towards the king's forest. It must 
be remembered that it was always customary at these eyres to 
present lists of all the deer killed, including those taken by 
express warrant or custom, Nevertheless, there was obviously 
something quite unwarrantable in the amount taken during that 
period (over 300 a year), as is shown by the heavy fines imposed 
upon the hunting comrades of the deceased earl. 

Many of the other offenders were men of considerable 
position. Thus Thomas Gresley, Alan his brother, Ralph 
Hamilton, the Earl of Arundel, and Geoffrey de Nottingham 
were convicted of taking three harts and two hinds. 


Four or five of these charges, which exceeded one hundred 
in number, related to clergy. One of the most important cases 
was that of Roger de Weseham, Bishop of Coventry and 
Lichfield (1245-57). The bishop was charged together with 
William the vicar of Glossop, Archdeacon Adam de Staniford, 
and five others, all apparently of his company, with taking 
a hind in the forest. The bishop was summoned with the rest 
to appear before the justices, but the result appears to have 
been that the vicar of Glossop was the only one punished ; he 
was fined ten marks, and had to find twelve mainpernors. One 
of the company was John the clerk, and he was an unknown 
monk. Had the pleadings been preserved in full, it would 
probably have been shown that the bishop pleaded the forest 
charter, whereby it was allowed to any bishop, baron, or earl 
to take one or two head of game in passing through a royal 
forest, provided it was done openly. The like justification 
might possibly have been put forward by several barons whose 
names appear as venison trespassers. 

Those who were considered responsible for the escape of 
prisoners on venison charges from Peak Castle were held 
liable at these forest pleas. When John de Grey was bailiff of 
the Peak, Martin the shoemaker of Castleton, and another, 
were charged with the unwarrantable possession of a deerskin, 
and were committed to prison. They escaped, or were liberated 
without the intervention of a forest justice, therefore the bailiff 
was held in mercy ; the offenders did not appear, and were 
outlawed. John Goband, an earlier bailiff, was also held in 
mercy for a like offence. Simon de Weyley, who took a stag 
during the bailiffship of Robert de Lexington (1228-33), 
gave the bailiff five marks to secure his release. Lexington 
was dead ; but, on the offence being proved, the justices held 
that his heirs were held responsible. 

Baron William de Vesci, with four others, was charged with 
taking three harts in the forest. One of the company, John de 
Andville, was on pilgrimage in the Holy Land at the time of 
the eyre, and could not appear. The baron had protested to 
the verderers at the time of the charge that he took- the game 
by the king's gift ; he brought to the eyre the royal letter and 
the charge was withdrawn. In two other cases royal pardons 
were produced to the justices. 


The fines imposed for venison trespasses varied at this eyre 
from ^zooto 13^. 4^., and seemed to have been proportioned in 
accordance with the position of the offender, as well as the 
comparative gravity of the offence. The long intervals be- 
tween the eyres, and the frequent changes of the forest 
custodian, together with the wildriess of the country, seemed 
to have led to the Peak Forest being hunted, with a certain 
amount of impunity, by not a few of the nobility and gentry 
of Derbyshire, and of the adjacent parts of Yorkshire and 
Cheshire. The game trespasses at this eyre were entirely for 
red deer, save for the single instance of a presentment against 
Robert de Wurth for killing a roebuck, for which offence the 
huge fine of ,100 was imposed. The amount of this fine had 
nothing to do with the nature of the game, but was caused by 
the non-appearance of the accused, accompanied probably by 
some aggravating circumstances not recorded on the brief 
entry on the plea rolls. At the next pleas (1286) the justices 
imposed a like enormous fine of 100 in the case of John Clarel, 
who did not appear, on the charge of taking a hart, adding to 
the record words which do not elsewhere appear si placeat 
domino rege as though to mark its exceptional nature. 

When the justices at the 1251 pleas came to the considera- 
tion of vert offences and encroachments various particulars 
were missing. Mathew de Langesdon and Adam de Stanton, 
hereditary verderers, were each fined 20^. for not producing 
their father's rolls. There seems to have been much careless- 
ness among the various officials in the keeping of their respec- 
tive yearly lists of offences. Peter del Hurst, regarder of one 
section of the Peak Forest, was fined los. for the non-present- 
ment of assarts and purprestures in his rolls. A considerable 
number of agisters were at the same time declared in mercy 
for not producing their agistment rolls according to the custom 
and assize of the forest. There is, however, a fairly long list 
t of vert offences (about sixty) that had accrued within the Crown 
demesnes since 1218, the damage done being in most cases 
valued at 6d. Richard de Smallcross, who had been fined 6d. 
at the swainmote for the value of a vert offence in the demesne 
park, had now to pay a fine of 6s. 8d. and to obtain pledges. 
Richard de Redescaye, who had paid a value fine of i2d., was 
also fined 6s. 8d. by the justices. The majority of the offenders 


the offences were probably trifling had simply to find 
pledges for their future observance of the forest assize. Heirs 
were held responsible for their father's offences in two or three 
cases. Many of these vert trespassers were of good position. 
The worst case at this eyre was that of Roger Foljambe, who 
was fined the large sum of twenty marks for many transgres- 
sions ; his pledges were John Foljambe and Warner Coterell. 
In this roll of transgressors the clergy, especially the religious, 
were largely represented. The number included the abbots of 
Basingwerk, Dieulacres, Lilleshall, Merivale, Roche, and 
Welbeck, the prior of Lenton, and William, vicar of Glossop. 
The vicar's case must have been a serious one, for the value 
payment was ^3 and the fine 40^. Another and much shorter 
roll gave the vert offenders within the forest limits but outside 
the demesne. 

In the first roll of assarts presented at this Peak eyre, on 
which twenty-two cases are entered, two of these assarts that 
had been made without warrant many years before were taken 
into the king's hands ; and in one case, where William the 
smith (deceased) had made an assart of three acres without 
warrant in the liberty of the abbot of Basingwerk in the days 
of Robert de Lexington (1228-33), the then abbot was allowed 
to retain it as tenant. It was a dire offence, whether the assart 
was within the forest or only in the regard or purlieus, to 
enclose with so stout or high a fence that the deer were ex- 
cluded. The abbot of Basingwerk, in the time of John de 
Grey, was reported as having assarted one and a half acres at 
Whitfield without the demesne, and enclosed it so as to prevent 
the free roving of the deer and their fawns, and this without 
warrant ; at the time when the justices were sitting the fence 
had been removed, but it was declared in the hands of the 
king. The usual custom in the Peak at this time seems to 
have been for the tenant of an assart to pay 4^. an acre to the 
Crown, and at the time of the assart being made to pay a fine 
to the bailiff for the warrant. In a list of assarts allowed by 
Warner Engaine at 4^. an acre, the following are the propor- 
tions and the fines in six consecutive cases : i acre, 2$. fine ; 
4 acres, 6s. fine ; i acre, 2S. 8d. fine ; 3 acres, 6s. fine ; 2 acres, 
4.9. fine ; and 3 acres, 3^. fine. When the tenants of Peak 
Forest assarts died, their heirs paid double rent for the first 


year, and the king had also the second best beast, the first 
going to the Church. These Peak assarts, which were very 
numerous at this date, were for the most part small, averaging 
about 5 or 6 acres ; they varied from 60 acres to ^ acre. 

The purprestures presented at this eyre were the rolls of new 
houses built since the last pleas of 1216. One hundred and 
thirty-one persons had built new houses without warrant, and 
were therefore in mercy that is, liable to fines. In almost a 
like number of cases, namely, one hundred and twenty-seven, 
new houses had been raised within the king's demesnes with 
the licence of the bailiff. An average increase of eight new 
houses a year during the first thirty-five years of Henry III.'s 
reign speaks well as to the degree of prosperity then enjoyed 
by the forest of the Peak. 

The mineral and turbary rights of this forest also came 
under review at this eyre. Earl Ferrers received .15 during 
the six years that he held the Peak bailiwick from the minerals 
raised at Tideswell : Brian de Insula, 12, during his five 
years ; Robert de Lexington, ,40 in six years ; Ralph Fitz- 
Nicholas, 5 in one year ; John Goband, 7 in three years ; 
Warner Engaine, 12 los. in five years ; John de Grey, 15 in 
six years ; and William de Horsenden, 50^. per annum. The 
minerals raised at Wardlow produced 12 for Earl Ferrers, 
10 for Brian de Insula, 12 for Robert de Lexington, 2 for 
Ralph Fitz-Nicholas, 4 for John Goband, 8 los. for Warner 
Engaine, .8 for John de Grey, and 30^. a year for William de 
Horsenden. John de Grey took twenty marks of cheminage 
or road toll to the mines during his term of office ; but this was 
not done by any other bailiff. John de Grey also made certain 
stone quarries, from which he received \6d. profit in two years. 

Under turbary it is mentioned that the townships of Hucklow, 
Tideswell, Wormhill, Toftes, Buxton, Bowden, Aston, and 
Thornhill took turves without requiring licence. 

Another source of profit to the bailiffs was on escaped cattle : 
under this head Earl Ferrers took 12, Brian de Insula ;io, 
Robert de Lexington 12, Kalph Fitz-Nicholas 2, John 
Goband 6, Warner Engaine 10, John de Grey 12, and 
William de Horsenden i yearly. 

One other fact recorded on the rolls of this eyre remains for 
notice : it is with regard to the horse-breeding establishments 


of the forest. The term used for this in the Peak, Needwood, 
and other forests is Equitium, for which it does not seem 
possible to find any single-word English equivalent, unless it 
is stud. The abbot of Welbeck had one stud of twenty horses 
and twenty mares in the forest at Cruchell, where King John 
had given the canons charter rights. The abbot of Merivale 
had kept a stud of sixteen mares with their foals for six years, 
to the damage to the king of 2os. The abbot of Basingwerk 
had a stud of twenty mares for two years, damage 2os. William 
de Roch had seven mares and foals for one year, 20^. Thomas 
Foljambe, senior, had seven mares, damage 13^.4^; Thomas 
had died and the heirs had to respond. 

Bailiff Bernake's accounts of the year 1255-6, already cited 
in reference to wolves, are also interesting on account of the 
gifts that he made to the Campana Lodge or Chamber of the 
Forest. To the chapel he gave a sufficient vestment, an albe, 
an amyce, a sufficient rochet, a super-altar, an altar cloth made 
out of an old chasuble, a silver chalice gilded inside, and an 
old missal and a gradual. To the hall he gave five tables, six 
old small shields, and a chessboard ; also two tuns of wine, 
one full and the other having a depth of twelve inches. He 
also presented various utensils to the kitchen. 

On 1 2th July, 1285, the sheriff of Derbyshire was ordered to 
cause a regard to be taken of the Peak Forest before Michael- 
mas, preparatory to the holding of the forest pleas ; and on ist 
August he was further instructed to issue summons of an eyre 
for forest pleas, to be held at Derby to all concerned, save 
Brother William de Henley, prior to the Hospitallers and 
Edmund the king's brother, who were excused attendance. 

Thirty-four years had passed by since the last eyre was held. 
The pleas of the forest were held at Derby on 3Oth September, 
1285, before Roger Lestrange, Peter de Leach, and John Fitz- 
Nigel, justices of the forest. The full rolls of this eyre are also 
extant at the Public Record Office. 

From the rolls then produced we are able to continue the list 
of bailiffs from the time of the last eyre. William de Horsen- 
den, 1251 ; Ralph Bugg, 1252 ; Ivo de Elynton, 1253 ; Richard 
de Vernon, 1254; Gervase de Bernake, 1255; Thomas de 
Orreby, 1256 ; Richard le Ragged, 1257 ; William de Findern, 
1258; Thomas de Furnival, 1264; Roger Lestrange, 1274; 


Thomas Foljambe, 1277; Thomas de Normanville, 1277; 
Thomas de Furnival, 1279 ; Thomas le Ragged, 1280 ; Thomas 
Foljambe, 1281 ; and Robert Bozon, 1283. 

The Campana foresters-of-fee of that date were John Daniel, 
Thomas le Archer, Thomas son of Thomas Foljambe, a minor 
in the custody of Thomas de Gretton ; Nicholas Foljambe, who 
had been a minor in the custody of Henry de Medue, but was 
then of full age ; and Adam Gomfrey. Of these foresters, 
Adam Gomfrey and Thomas Foljambe held jointly the same 
bovate, which had formerly been divided between two brothers. 
Also Thomas Foljambe and John le Wolfhunte held another 
bovate in the same way, John holding his half by hereditary 
descent, whilst Thomas Foljambe, senior, had acquired his 
half by marriage with Katherine, daughter of Hugh de 
Mirhaud. This subdivision of serjeanties became burden- 
some to the district, as each forester-of-fee endeavoured to have 
a servant maintained at the expense of the tenants, but the 
jurors confirmed a decision of the hundred court of 1275 to 
the effect that there could be only four such servants or officers, 
according to ancient custom, for the Campana bailiwick. The 
names of the foresters-of-fee for the two other wards are also 
set forth. 

Although a considerable proportion of the offenders were 
dead before the eyre was held, the rolls of venison and vert 
trespassers show no fewer than 517 separate charges extending 
over the thirty-four years since the last pleas. 

The gravest charge at this eyre, as at the last, was against 
an Earl of Derby. Robert Earl Ferrers was presented for 
having, in 1264, with a great company of knights and other 
persons of position, hunted in the Campana forest on 7th July 
and taken forty head of deer, and drove another forty out of 
the forest ; and on ist August took fifty and drove away about 
seventy ; and again on 29th September took forty and drove 
away a like number. This hunting was planned on a whole- 
sale scale, for thirty-eight are named in the presentment, and 
there were many others, as well as the earl himself, who were 
dead before the eyre was held, and others not summoned as 
they were mere servants of the earl. Eight out of the thirty- 
eight were knights, and one, Master Nicholas de Marnham, 
rector of Doddington, Lincoln, was in holy orders. Of those 


in the earl's train during these three forest affrays hardly any 
bore Derbyshire names, but came from the counties of War- 
wick, Leicestershire, Lancashire, York, Cambridge, etc. It has 
been strangely enough remarked by the only writer who has 
hitherto cited these presentments (Mr. Yeatman) that "these 
tremendous charges," made long after the earl was dead, "are 
utterly incomprehensible," adding that it seems impossible to 
suppose that the earl had not full licence from the Crown to 
indulge in hunting in the royal forest ! But this writer had 
clearly forgotten the date of these forest invasions of the young 
and impetuous Earl Ferrers. It was in 1264, in the very thick 
of the baronial civil war under Simon de Montfort, of whose 
cause Robert Ferrers was a hot partisan. On I2th May was 
fought the battle of Lewes, when the king's forces under 
Prince Edward (Edward I.) were defeated by those of the 
barons. For two or three years from that date, as an old 
chronicler has it, "there was grievous perturbation in the 
centre of the realm," in which Derbyshire pre-eminently 
shared. There can be no doubt whatever that the three incur- 
sions made into the Peak Forest in July, August, and Septem- 
ber, following the battle of Lewes, were undertaken by Robert 
Ferrers and his allies (issuing forth from his great manor- 
house of Hartington) much more to show contempt for the 
king's forest and preserves and to get booty than for any pur- 
poses of sport. These presentments, if they did nothing else, 
were a strong protest against the lawlessness of such action. 
In April of this year Henry III. had come into Derbyshire 
and lodged for a time at the castle of the Peak after the sub- 
jection of Nottingham, and it was from here that he proceeded 
into Kent and Sussex. 

The king's sojourn here before the battle of Lewes is ex- 
pressly named in another presentment against Thomas de 
Furnival, the great Lord of Sheffield. Thomas, who was that 
year bailiff of the Peak, entertained the king at the castle and 
tarried there until Whitsuntide. On this occasion, after the 
king had left, the bailiff entered the forest and killed twelve 
beasts. On various subsequent occasions, both in the reign 
of Henry III. and Edward I., venison was killed in this forest 
and taken to Thomas de Furnival's castle at Sheffield. Thomas 
appeared before the justices, and was convicted and im- 


prisoned, but was subsequently released at the king's pleasure 
for a fine of 200 marks. 

Edward I. made his chace (facit chaceam suam) in the forest 
in 1275. At that time Thomas Fitz-Nicholas and Richard 
Fitz-Godfrey of Monyash went into the forest with the king's 
hounds and carried off some of the venison to their own 
houses. Whereupon William le Wynn, Lord of Monyash, 
whose tenants they were, summoned them to his manorial 
court, where Thomas was fined 4^. and Richard 6s. 8d. For 
this illegal adjudication in case of venison trespass William le 
Wynn was presented by the foresters, and the justices fined 
him 20-r., and required him to find pledges of future observance 
of the assize of the forest. 

At a swainmote held at Chapel-en-le-Frith in March, 1280, 
William Foljambe appeared before Thomas le Ragged, the 
bailiff, and presented that Henry de Medue took a doe with a 
certain black greyhound called " Collyng" at Camhead, under- 
taking to verify the charge in a penalty of 100 marks ; Henry 
denied the charge, and retorted that William Foljambe and 
his brother-in-law, Gregory, with the aid of his servants and 
shepherds at Martinside, Weston, and Wormhill, had de- 
stroyed a hundred head of game, and undertook to prove it 
under a like penalty. The jury at the forest pleas found 
Henry guilty, and he was fined 5. William and his com- 
pany were found not guilty of taking a hundred, but guilty 
of taking twenty ; he was fined 20 marks. Collyng was evi- 
dently a well-known greyhound ; the name occurs in another 
presentment of a different date against Thomas Medue. 

In the Peak Forest, as elsewhere, foresters-of-fee, as well 
as their servants or under-foresters, were now and again con- 
victed of venison trespass. Thus Robert de Milner, at the 
time when he was a forester of Longdendale, took over twenty 
head of game and carried them to his father's house ; not 
. appearing at the eyre, he was outlawed. John Pycard, a 
forester under Milner, was also convicted of killing six deer. 
Ten other foresters-of-fee were fined during this eyre. 

A succession of bailiffs, in addition to Thomas de Furnival, 
were convicted of venison or cognate offences, or the improper 
release of offenders. 

The offences, both of vert and venison trespass and of 


agistment, proved against the large majority of the heredi- 
tary foresters-of-fee, and against so many of the highest 
position in the district and county, shows that there was very 
little moral stigma attached at that time to forest transgres- 
sions in the Peak. In no other forest district does there seem 
to have been quite so much laxity. This exceptionally bad 
feature of the Peak Forest probably arose from the long-con- 
tinued state turmoil of so much of the period between the two 
eyres of 1250 and 1286 throughout this district, which brought 
about great laxity of administration. After these foresters 
had been duly convicted and fined for many transgressions, 
their respective bailiwicks, because of their poverty, were not 
forfeited, but taken into the king's hands to be replevied at 
his will when the required fine had been paid. The justices 
were authorised to reinstate them in their offices during the 
king's pleasure, whilst the fines were being paid, if they saw 
just cause, and in several cases the penalties were reduced. 

As examples of instances of convictions of men of consider- 
able position, the following may be mentioned : Peter de 
Gresley, who had to pay 20 for the single offence of killing 
a doe in 1268; John lord of Queenbury, Yorks, 20; and 
John lord of Shipley, 40^. Other offenders were Sir Stephen 
le Waleys, William Bagshawe, and Thomas, Henry, and 
William Foljambe. 

There were, of course, various venison offences committed 
by men in humbler positions, but these seem to have been 
quite the exception. Michael, son of Adam de Wormhill, was 
presented for having killed fawns (of red deer) in the forest, 
and sold their skins in the open market. The justices at this 
eyre were merciful, and had regard to poverty in other besides 
the foresters-of-fee. Thus Richard de Baslow and Hebbe the 
fisherman were in the company of Richard de Vernon, when he 
was bailiff at the taking of venison for the king, and appropri- 
ated five head of game to themselves. Baslow was fined 20^., 
but Hebbe, who admitted the offence, was afterwards pardoned 
through the king's mercy because he was poor. 

The vert charges of this eyre, particularly those that deal 
with the wholesale damage of the king's woods, charged 
against the respective townships, are of special interest, as 
enabling us to see in detail that the woodlands were then fairly 





numerous, although by far the largest portion of the forest 
area was always clear of every kind of timber. The woods 
were almost entirely of oak. 

Full lists of assarts and purprestures that had occurred since 
1261, under the respective bailiffs, were also presented at the 
1286 pleas. 

As to horses, it was presented that the Queen Consort had a 
stud of 115 mares and their foals in Campana, to the great 
injury of the forest, but that many had horses and mares in 
Campana under cover of their belonging to the queen. Peter de 
Shatton, forester-of-fee, had eleven horses and mares feeding in 
Campana, whose pasturage was rated at 2s. Nineteen other 
foresters had horses or mares in various proportions, all claim- 
ing to be part of the queen's stud. They were all ordered to 
remove their animals, and had to pay pasturage value, and in 
addition, fines varying from is. to 4^., save in the cases 
of Adam Gomfrey, John Daniel, and Cecily Foljambe, who 
were pardoned. 

The ordinary vert rolls for such trespasses during the past 
thirty-five years extended to a great length, embracing over 600 
cases. The fines were chiefly is., but extended to 2s. 6d., and 
in one case to 4^. Two of the offenders, Richard le Hunt and 
Walter Bigg, both of Castleton, were excused any fine on the 
score of poverty. 

The details of the farm stock for the year 1314-15 are 
particularly full, especially with regard to the sheep, but space 
prevents them being given here. 

There are various references to the milking of ewes in the 
Peak accounts. It is often forgotten how almost universal 
throughout England but more especially in Essex and the 
eastern counties was the custom of cheese-making from 
sheep's milk from the time of Domesday to the days of 
Elizabeth. It lingered to a far later date in some districts. 
, The milk of ten ewes was considered equivalent to that of 
one cow. 

The bailiff of the Peak was allowed, within the forest limits, 
to keep a limited number of sheep in certain defined places, 
and one or two herds of cattle kept, as a rule, within enclosures, 
and only occasionally pastured in the open. In later days, as 
will be presently seen, when the pasturage was farmed out, 


it became a great temptation to the farmers to increase their 
stocks, to the serious detriment of the deer. Temporary 
booths or sheds were erected on the great upland pasture 
grounds of the forest for the occasional use of the herdsmen 
of the vallaries. Particularly was this the case above Edale. 
This is the explanation of the term "Booth" not infrequently 
found on the Ordnance Survey maps. Near Edale may 
be noticed Booth, Barbery Booth, and Upper Booth ; above 
Hollinsclough is another Booth ; and elsewhere occur Grinds- 
brook Booth, Otterbrook Booth, and Netherbrook Booth. On 
the other hand, Oxhey and Cowhey, on Ronksley Moor, Cow- 
heys, near Ludworth, and Oxhay, near Eyam, speak of definite 
enclosures for cattle. 

The ministers' accounts of the Duchy of Lancaster, from the 
reign of Richard II. onwards, supply various interesting par- 
ticulars as to receipts and expenditure in administering the 
affairs of the forest and bailiwick of the High Peak. The 
accounts for 1391-2, when Thomas de Wednesley was receiver 
and bailiff, include, in addition to rents from towns and wastes, 
and payments for a summer and winter herbage, for lead ore, 
mills and fisheries, 6 13$. ^d. for passage and stallage and 
toll for cows at Chapel-en-le-Frith, 25^. for pannage of pigs, 
and 37-s 1 . 6d. for agistment. 

A court (turnus) was held at Tideswell on ist August, 1398, 
under Sir John Cokayne as chief steward, when the jury made 
presentments as to lands of the abbeys of Basingwerk and 
Lilleshall and the priory of Fenton. John de Sale, boothman 
(herdsman) of Edale, was presented for receiving two marks 
for the sale of wood. Other charges were the enclosing of a 
piece of waste at Whitehall bridge, and the making a weir at 
Rydale. The foresters also presented several cases of venison 

The main items of the accounts for 1404-5 closely approxi- 
mate to the one just cited, but there is a fresh sub-heading, 
namely, " new herbage," for which .30 was received. This 
must refer to some extensive new clearing or assart ; it was at 
Stokehill, in the Hopedale ward of the forest, and is described 
as formerly pertaining to Welbeck abbey, but then to the 
nuns of Derby. This year the perquisites or fines from the 
various courts amounted to ^56 us. 2.d. Two small but in- 


teresting items appear in this year's accounts, and are often 
subsequently repeated. One is called Broksylver, or brook- 
silver, which was a payment made by lead miners who washed 
their ore in the torrent (torrens] of Tideswell within the fee ; 
the sum for this year was 2os. The other is Wodsylver, or 
woodsilver, which was a payment for billets of wood (perhaps 
used for smelting) at 4^. a 100 ; this year they numbered 500, 
and the payment was is. 8d. 

The expenses and salaries of this year amounted to 319 5^. 
io^d., which left a balance of 66 i2s. ii%d. A heavy item in 
the expenses was the building of a new mill at Maynestonfield, 
12 4-r. id. There were also repairs of the mills at Hayfield 
and Castleton, whilst a pair of millstones for 'Beard cost los. 
A small item of some interest is 2.d. for a key to the door of 
the toll-booth at Chapel. 

The accounts for 1435-6 include rents for lands called 
"Wynlandes" (spelt " Wynnelandes " and "Wenlandes" 
in other accounts). From this and subsequent statements it 
appears that the payments or rents for these Wynlands came 
from places such as Monyash, Chelmorton, Overhaddon, 
Bakewell, Ashover, etc., which were on the verge of the forest, 
and sometimes in other hundreds (Wirksworth and Scarsdale) 
outside the limits of the High Peak. The word naturally 
suggests, to forest students, the Venlands of Dartmoor, which 
were the parts adjacent to the moor proper. The Venland 
parishes paid a composition to the Duchy of Cornwall to 
cover the straying of their cattle and stock over the bounds 
into Dartmoor forests. In like manner these Wynland or 
Venland districts round the Peak Forest appear to have at 
this time paid some due or assigned some rents for a like 
reason to the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1439-40 Sir Richard 
Vernon (who had been appointed bailiff of the High Peak and 
master forester in 1422) enters on the back of his accounts 
proper his receipts as bailiff of the lands called Wynnelandes, 
which amounted that year to 88 is. 

At a later date, this word appears as " Wydelands " and 
" Widlands," and once as " Widelands," which may be taken 
to signify the lands wide of the forest centre. 

In 1440-1, three hundred shingles were provided at a cost 
of i6s. 6d. and shingle nails at i8d. for re-roofing the Camera 


in campana or Chamber in the Forest. In the following year 
the large sum of 7 os. nd. was spent on repairing with 
specially cut piles the great pond (stagnum) of the Campana. 
This pond still remains. 

In 1448-9 Sir Richard Vernon was still bailiff and master 
forester. The receipts (including balance) for that year 
amounted to .445 2s. $\d. 

Walter Blount was bailiff in 1456-7. The lead ore, together 
with the market tolls at Tideswell paid by the Sir Sampson 
Meverell, and the farm of the fishery of the Wye, realised 
.14 is. In 1460-1 Walter Blount was still bailiff, but he 
was at that date knighted. 

Sir William Hastings, Sir John Savage, junr., and Thurston 
Allen were the next successive bailiffs. 

A singular appointment was made by Henry VII. in March, 
1503, to the joint offices of bailiff, receiver, collector, and bar- 
master of the High Peak. The person appointed was Thomas 
Savage, Archbishop of York ; of course, he only exercised 
these not very lucrative offices by deputy ; indeed, the patent 
gives him authority to discharge his duties by deputy in the 
same way as had been done by his predecessor, Thurston 
Allen. At the same time Sir Richard Savage was appointed 
constable of Peak, master forester of Peak Forest, and steward 
of both castle and forest at a salary of 18 i8s. ^d. a year to be 
paid him by his kinsman, the archbishop, as receiver. In 
the following year Thomas Babington was appointed sub- 

Three years later the different offices were again reassorted 
and to some extent amalgamated, for Sir Henry Vernon, in 
November, 1507, was appointed steward, bailiff, and master 
forester. In the following January, James Worsley was ap- 
pointed " Boweberer infra forestam de Peke " during pleasure. 

Among the Belvoir MSS. is the roll of a swainmote held at 
Chapel-en-le-Frith, in October, 1497. The foresters made 
various presentments of venison trespass. In six cases the 
offenders were charged with killing a "cornilu." 1 

1 This word, though the assistance of some of our ablest philologists has been 
asked and courteously given, remains uncertain in its meaning. The probabilities 
on the whole favour the idea that it was a local name for some kind of horned 
deer. Possibly it may have been the roebuck. Compare leucoryx, the name for a 
white antelope. 


An undated complaint, temp. Henry VII., addressed to the 
chancellor of the duchy, is of much interest as showing the 
power of the deputy steward of the Peak and the use made 
of the castle as a prison : 

"To the Right Honorable Sir Reynold Bray, Knyght Chauncelor 
of the Duchie of Lancastre. 

" Mekly compleanayth unto your good maistership your dayly 
orator Richard Hall of Hop that when your said orator came unto 
your debite Steward of the high peke John Savage to shew unto hym 
howe that on of his servauntes called Randall Lee and oon Thomas 
Slake servaunt to Robert Ayer had apeched ather other of fellony as 
well for stellyng of horses and mayres as of shep to the entent the 
said mysdoers myght have ben ponyshed accordyng unto the kynges 
lawes and pore men's goodes in the countre to go in pese by them the 
said John Savage not wyllyng to her the trewyth nor to do justice 
comyth your said besecher for his seth saying to the Castell of Peke 
and ther remaned by the space of iii weks and more and wold not 
suffer his wyfe nor other or his frendes to bryng hym mete nor drynke 
but caused hym to by it of the Constabill depute to his grete coste 
and charge. And on this your said besecher axed Surtes of the pece 
as well of the said Randall Lee as of the said Thomas Slake afore 
the said John Savage. And he that notwithstandyng suffered them 
to departe withoute any Surtes fyndyng to the grete juberdy of the 
lyf of your said besecher withoute a Remedy may be had in that 
behalfe. And fordermore your said orator offered the said John 
Savage Surtes to answer to all men that cold lay anything to his 
charge which he refused saying it was your comandement that he 
should be comytt to the said Castell and so he was ther withoute 
Remedy but that it pleasit your good maistership to comaund the 
said John Savage by your wrytyng to suffer hym to go atte large 
and to apere afore you atte the octave of seint Martyn and also 
to bring up all suche persones as cold lay anythyng against your said 
besecher. And on this Robert Savage and Richard Gresham which 
is Curte Clarke to the said John Savage syttyng in an Alehouse atte 
Hope and uppon non curte day but atte ther owen will amersed your 
said besecher in C s . And for what cause he cane not tell. Besechyng 
you atte the reverence of God and in way of Charite the premisses 
tenderly concederyd that as well the said indytements as all other 
thynges that any man cane lay to his charge may be examined nowe 
afore you. And yf he be founde in any defaute he wyll submytt hym 
unto your correction and yf he be note That then those that hath 
done evyll to hym may be ponnyshed and make hym amends for the 


grete harmys and wronge exacion that they have done to hym 
agaynst all right and good concyence and this atte the reverence 
of God and in way of Charyte. And your said besecher shall ever 
pray to God for the good preservation of your good maistership long 
to endure." 1 

At the same time, Robert Hollingworth, of Bowden, com- 
plained to the chancellor that one John Bromall, a servant 
of John Savage's, "a myschiefes man and outlawed for dyvers 
murdores and fellones," at Savage's instigation, put out the 
complainant from his house and lands which he held of the 
king by chief rent, and threatened to kill him if he tried to 
claim it. Also that John Shallcross, bailiff of the High Peak, 
George Bagshawe, and other servants of Savage's, pulled down 
the floors of his house, damaged the walls, carried off divers 
"grete arkes and coffers," tables, household furniture, and 
other "erlomes." He had sought to obtain redress from John 
Savage, but in vain, and was in danger of his life if he ventured 
into that part of the country. 

Sir John Savage's answer to this charge is filed. It is to the 
effect that Hollingworth was attainted of felony, and that 
Savage, as steward, thereupon seized the house and land and 
transferred the tenancy to Bromall. 2 

During the reign of Henry VIII. two great courts of attach- 
ment for the whole forest were held yearly at Tideswell in 
August and October, as well as various smaller courts, of 
which many records are extant. At the great courts all the 
foresters-of-fee of the three wards had to be present personally 
or by deputy. At a great court of attachment held in October, 
1515, twelve offenders were fined for lopping trees in the woods 
of Ashop and Edale. One of these, John Marshall, was fined the 
heavy sum of 6s. &/. ; and another, Edward Barbour, 13^-. 4^. 
The entries are very brief, and the aggravating circumstances 
concerning these two transgressions are not named. 

Smaller courts for the Campana ward were held at Tideswell 
on 30th November, 1518, and on 2yth March, 1519. At the 
former there were no presentations ; at the latter four vert 
transgressors were fined for lopping in the aggregate sum 
of i^d. 

1 Duchy Depositions, I. H. 10. - Ibid., ioa. 


The names of the foresters attending a great court of attach- 
ment for the whole forest, held at Tideswell on October, 1524, 
are given in full. 

Another great court of attachment was held at Tideswell on 
ist August, 1525. 

The large number of seventy-four vert offenders were fined 
in sums varying from i2d. to zd., yielding a total of 34^. 2d. 
Among the offenders were Thomas Pursglove, who was fined 
8d. , and Edward Barber, vicar of Hope. 

In the midst of this reign, the evil results of letting out 
or leasing the herbage of the district, to be farmed by those 
who were not forest ministers, became apparent, so far as the 
interests of maintaining a deer forest were concerned. The 
king, in July, 1526, issued a commission to Sir Thomas 
Cokayne and three others to inquire into the overstocking of 
"our Forest of the Champion in the High Peak" more than 
was ever wont with numbers of " capilles, 1 bestes, and 
shepe " by Henry Parker, the farmer of the herbage, and 
his deputies, insomuch that there was no grass left in the 
forest "for our game of dere," and that thereby many of 
the deer are like to perish in the coming winter through lack 
of meat. The Commissioners were to inquire what number 
of cattle and sheep the forest could maintain, and whether 
Parker had more than previous farmers ; also as to the number 
of the deer, and whether they had decreased under Parker. 
The Commissioners met at the Chamber of the Forest, on 
1 5th September, and heard the following witnesses; Hugh 
Fretham, 30, deposed that there were five herds of cattle within 
the forest, whereas aforetime there were but two, and that the 
five herds numbered 903 beasts last St. Thomas's Day; that at 
the same time there were 4,000 sheep and 16 score "capilles." 
Roger Wryght, deputy to George Barlowe, one of the foresters- 
of-fee, said that there used to be but two herds, and now five, 
and in all other respects confirmed the previous witness. 
William Bagshawe, 34, Thomas Bewell, 46, Thomas Bag- 
shawe, 26, also confirmed the statement of the first witness. 

The Commissioners further reported that they walked through 
the forest and saw, that same day, 18 score of red deer, in- 

1 Capille, capulle, or capul, is an old English term for a horse, chiefly north 
country. It is used in Piers Ploughman and the Canterbury Tales. 


eluding calves ; that many of the deer were in very poor con- 
dition, and scarcely likely to live over the coming winter ; that 
the grass was much trampled and poor, and that there was 
no competent sustenance for them ; that it would be well if 
sheep were kept out of the champagne of the forest, as they 
used to be (for so they were assured by many persons) ; and 
that such action, if enjoined on the farmer and those under 
him, would be of the greatest service to the deer. 

The attempts made by the chief forest ministers to keep 
down the sheep in the interests of the deer brought them into 
various conflicts with the tenants, the bolder of whom ventured 
to appeal to the chancellor of the duchy. 

In 1529, Allen Sutton, of Overhaddon, lodged a complaint, as 
one of the duchy tenants, that on 22nd June, about midnight, 
one Richard Knolls and William Pycroft, with other evilly 
disposed persons, servants of Richard Savage, steward of Peak 
Castle, came to a little croft adjoining his house and drove 
away seventy of his sheep, and also three of his neighbour's, 
and kept them to "this day" within the castle; -and that 
he could get no redress from the steward, who maintained 
these sheep and declined to restore them. To this bill, William 
Pycroft, bailiff of the High Peak, replied that the matter 
contained therein was " but feigned, and only intended to put 
him to vexation and treble " ; and that if it were true, instead 
of being false, Sutton has his remedy at the common law of 
the land. To this reply Sutton rejoined that his bill of com- 
plaint was good and true in every point, and again prayed for 
restitution of his goods. 

Henry VIII., on 4th March, 1531, commissioned Sir Ralph 
Longford, John Fitzherbert, Thomas Babington, John Agard, 
and Ralph Agard, to inquire into diverse complaints made 
against Thomas Brown, William Pycroft, Robert Folowe, and 
Allen Sutton, for very heinous and seditious matters. Against 
Robert Folowe it was alleged that he was outlawed for murder, 
as maintained by the Archbishop of York and others, but yet 
dwelt in the High Peak ; that felons and murderers were 
taken by Folowe and set in the castle of the Peak, and then 
for a bribe let go again, of which sixteen examples were 
given ; that in two of these cases he received as much as sixty 
sheep apiece from two prisoners ; and that he found treasure 


trove to the value of 100 marks and appropriated it. Robert 
Folowe, in reply to this bill, filed an answer to the effect 
that he could make no reply to the charge of outlawry, 
for it was not stated whom he had murdered, nor at what time 
or place ; and that he denied seriatim every one of the charges 
of releasing prisoners from Peak Castle for bribes, appealing 
to God and his country. 

In his answer to the bill of articles against him, William 
Pycroft denies felling the king's wood in Edale, Ashop, or any 
other place, or lopping the same for his cattle or fire, or killing 
the king's deer in the forest of the High Peak. He further 
stated that he had for some time held the office of bow-bearer 
of the forest, and through the due discharge of his office had 
incurred the malice of certain persons, and he explicitly denied 
that he had ever set under him any who had destroyed the 
king's woods or hurt the king's deer. 

Robert Folowe was at this time bailiff of the hundred of 
the High Peak, and acted as deputy to Richard Savage, the 
steward of Peak Castle, under Sir George Savage, the 
custodian. Another charge against Folowe was that he had 
"withdrawn and taken out of the Castell " and appropriated 
to his own use much furniture, such as tables, forms, bed- 
steads, lead and iron vessels, and even "iiij wyndoose." Some 
of the evidence taken on behalf of Pycroft before the com- 
mission is extant, but the finding of the Commissioners is 

A great court of attachment was held at the Campana lodge 
on 1 3th November, 1542. The new forester, Francis, Earl of 
Shrewsbury, who had succeeded to the confiscated office of the 
abbot of Basingwerk, was represented by Thomas Johnson. 
Reginald Pursglove was fined 6d. for lopping green trees, and 
there were twenty-nine other like offenders. The total of the 
day's fines was 14.?. lod. 

A great court of attachment and swainmote for the High 
Peak was held at Tideswell on 3oth October, 1559. Hugh 
Needham, Edward Eyre, and George Woodruff were the 
foresters who appeared in person ; the rest all sent deputies. 
Twenty-four offenders were fined for lopping trees and carrying 
off undergrowth in Ashop wood. The first two names were 
Robert and Lawrence Pursglove. At another like court, held 


at the same place on 2nd May, 1567, twenty-one persons were 
fined for similar offences. 

The disputes as to the respective rights of deer and sheep 
became more intensified during the reign of Elizabeth. In 1561 
Stephen Bagott, of Hilton, Staffordshire, gentleman, occupier 
of the "Champyon of the Quenes majesties forest of the Peake," 
by lease under Edward Lord Hastings, of Loughborough, the 
queen's farmer, complained to the chancellor (Sir Ambrose 
Cave) that George Blackwell, Thomas Bagshawe, and other 
servants of George Earl of Shrewsbury (Justice in Eyre of 
the Forest and High Steward of the Honor of Tutbury), 
claimed, as foresters, to have rights of herbage, pasture, 
turbary, and feeding for deer over the Champyon, which was 
a part of the forest, "a verie barren country of wood or tyn- 
sell," 1 contrary to all ancient usage. Blackwell and the other 
foresters, with their servants to the number of nineteen persons, 
were definitely charged with having on Monday in Easter week, 
4 and 5 Philip and Mary, violently and by force of arms taken 
400 wethers and 400 ewes, some with lambs, feeding on the 
Champyon, and impounded them within the castle of the Peak, 
and kept them there till the following Friday without either 
meat or water, by reason of which impounding divers of the 
wethers, ewes, and lambs died, causing damage to Bagott of 
20 or more. 

A further petition of the same Stephen Bagott complained 
that, in spite of the orders of the court, Robert Eyre and 
other foresters continued to molest the horses, mares, colts, 
and sheep feeding on the Champyon and to impound them in 
Peak Castle, especially last Easter, with the result of the loss 
of 500 sheep, in addition to the payment of heavy impounding 

The defendants filed a reply to the effect that they were the 
servants of the Earl of Shrewsbury, Justice in Eyre and 
High Steward of the Honor of Tutbury, of which the cham- 
pagne of Peak Forest was a parcel ; that this champagne was 
' 'the principall parte of the seid forest wherein the Quenes 
majesties deer hath their onlye feedinge and sustenaunce " ; 
that the earl, riding through the forest on the last 4th 
of March, perceived a great number of sheep depastur- 

1 Tynsell, or tinsel, was small dry wood, such as was collected for heating" ovens. 


ing on the champagne " wherebye the feedinge for the seid 
dere is utterlye consumed, and therebye allso the said deare 
forced to flee out of the seid forest for their relyfe whereas 
they be killed and destroyed," commanded Robert Eyre 
to drive these sheep to the castle of the Peak ; that this 
order was carried out without killing, destroying, or hurting 
any of the shefcp ; that the sheep were only impounded for half 
an hour, by which time Bagott's shepherd and the other 
owners claimed the same, paying, according to ancient custom, 
a penny for every score. 

Humphrey Barley, William Needham, Thomas Bagshawe, 
and William Bagshawe, yeomen and foresters-of-fee, who had 
" charge custodye and looking unto of all the Quenes Majesties 
games of warren and especially hir game of Redd deare within 
the same forrest, and to answere for the defaults and negligent 
kepinge of the same game of dere yf the same should be 
ympeyned and destroyed," reported in 1567 " that the game of 
redd deare in this the forest hath bene much decayed about 
twoe yeares last past by reason of two extreme wynters in the 
same yeares, and that through the extremetie of the wether 
specyallye frost and snowe having no browse to helpe the same 
dere, for that ytt ys a champion and playne place wherein no 
wood groweth, manye of the said deare be dead and manye 
of them be strayed into other foorests and places adjoynyng 
and are not herto retorned nor to be recovered so that there 
remayneth not of rede deere in the said forrest of all sortes 
eyther fallow male or rascall above the nomber of xxx dere 
in all." In consequence of this the foresters sent in this 
statement lest they should be accused of negligence, and prayed 
the chancellor (Sir Ralph Sadler) that a restraint may be had 
in hunting or slaying the game by any warrant whatsoever for 
six years, until the red deer be replenished to their former 
number, which was about 360, and to signify the same re- 
straint to the Earl of Shrewsbury, the queen's master of the 
game of Peak Forest. 

A court of attachment held at Tideswell on 22nd October, 

1566, and fourteen vert offenders were fined, bringing in the 
aggregate sum of 4^. zd. At the next court, held 28th April, 

1567, los. 2d. was the total of the fines. 

In June, 1561 the queen issued a commission of inquiry as to 


the condition of Peak Castle and Forest. So far as related to 
the latter, the Commissioners were instructed 

"To view the heighte of one wall erected and made in or about 
one parcell of one pasture called the Champion within our saide 
foreste, how brode and depe the Dike in and about the same wall is, 
whether the same dike be drye or standings with water for the most 
parte of the yere, and whether the deare maye easlye enter in and 
owte to and fro the said pasture notwithstanding^ the said walle and 
dike, and whether the same wall and dyke be noisome or hurtefull to 
or for our deare and game there, and to thinderance of the grasse for 
our said deare, or be better for the cherisshinge of our said game and 
deare there or not." 

They were also to report on the rights of pasturage for beasts 
and cattle prevailing in the forest; whether the foresters "do 
diligently use and keepe their walkes aboute the said Foreste," 
or whether they use any part of the fines raised at swainmotes for 
their own purposes; what oxgangs they (the foresters) hold, and 
what cattle they pasture ; whether they use their own authority 
for excusing trespassers; and whether the pasturing of sheep 
is not very hurtful to the deer. 

One of the main results of this commission was that the 
Castle of the Peak was spared for a time from demolition, and 
was put into a certain kind of repair, mainly to enable it to 
serve as a forest prison ; but about the year 1585 the buildings 
suffered severely from fire. In June, 1589, the queen issued 
a further commission to William Agard, "our particular 
receiver of the honor of Tutburie," and another, reciting that 
the castle had "by mischance within these five yeres been 
burned, and by reason thereof become ruinous and decayed 
that it standeth void of any use . . . wherebefore yt was 
usuallie frequented and used for a prison for offenders there." 
The commissioners were directed to repair to the castle without 
delay, calling to them such artificers and workmen as they 
thought necessary, and to view all the decayed places, and to 
report how far it would serve to be made a prison again, and 
what it would cost to be repaired, and in that event what would 
the castle and site be worth to be let by the year. 

It was about this time that George Earl of Shrewsbury (he 
had been taken again into favour by the queen in his old age 


in 1587; he died in 1590), was permitted to purchase part of the 
Longdendale district of the Peak Forest, which was formally 
disafforested for the purpose. At this date a large quaint map 
of the whole forest was prepared, showing great parallelograms 
painted vermilion where there were pasturage rights, and out- 
line pictures of the towns. This big map was at some unknown 
date cut up into sections ; a part of it is missing, but the three 
main portions are preserved at the Public Record Office. On 
the Ashop and Edale section of the forest, five contiguous 
great patches of vermilion are shown, and by them is written, 
11 The Queenes Majestys farmes are divided into five vacaries." 
Near Glossop it is stated on the map that the greater part of 
the forest there was then held by the Earl of Shrewsbury. 
A rectangular patch, more to the west of the Longdendale 
division, is described: "The herbage of Chynly otherwise 
called Maidstonfeld, God. Bradshawe and others farmes." 

Gilbert, seventh Earl of Shrewsbury, was appointed chief- 
justice in eyre of the forests north of the Trent by James I. in 
1603, an office that gave him oversight of the game. The earl, 
writing to his uncle, Sir John Manners, from Sheffield Lodge, 
on 4th July, 1609, says: "I have sent you a note to Mr. Tunsted 
for a stag in the Peak Forest, but I doubt if there are any fat 
enough so early in the year." In June, 1610, the Council sent 
a letter to the earl, as justice in eyre beyond Trent, to prohibit 
the inhabitants and borderers of the forests of the Peak from 
destroying moor fowl and heath poults. 

Among memoranda of business to be submitted to the 
Council in June, 1626, occurs a petition from Francis Tunsted, 
who held a pension of 50 per annum as bow-bearer in the 
High Peak and keeper of the moor game; but the pension had 
not been paid for the last year, and he sought the king's order 
for its payment and continuance. 

On 2Oth February, 1639, a warrant was issued to the chan- 
cellor of the duchy to appoint fit persons to treat and compound 
with the freeholders, tenants, and commoner of wastes and com- 
mons belonging to the hundred and forest of High Peak, for 
granting the king's right and interest of soil. Just a year later 
a further warrant was issued to the chancellor to compound for 
disafforesting all lands of the king's within the honor and 
forest of the Peak. 


A large proportion of the duchy documents of the latter 
half of Charles I. 's reign are missing, but from a much later 
document we are fortunately able to give the true account of 
this disafforesting process for the first time, and thus to correct 
a variety of contradictory and erroneous statements that have 
hitherto been put forth on the subject. 

In 1772 an inquiry was made as to the state of the king's 
title to timber, mines, and coal within the disafforested forest 
of the High Peak. The outline history of the forest is correctly 
given in that report. 

In 1635 tne landowners and inhabitants within the forest 
petitioned the king, complaining of the severity, trouble, and 
rigour of the forest laws, and praying that the deer (which 
were in sufficient numbers to do considerable damage to crops 
in the forest and its purlieus) might be destroyed, and asking 
to be allowed to compound by enclosing and improving the 
same. Thereupon the king issued a commission of inquiry 
under the duchy seal, and directed that two juries should 
be impanelled, appointing a surveyor to assist them. The 
first jury viewed the whole forest and its purlieus, and presented 
that the king might improve and enclose one moiety in con- 
sideration of his rights, and that the other moiety should be 
enclosed by the tenants, commoners, and freeholders. The 
other jury was impanelled to consider the question of the 
towns within the purlieus, and they presented that the king, in 
view of the largeness of the commons belonging to the towns 
of Chelmorton, Flagg, Teddington, and Priestcliffe, might 
reasonably have for improvement and enclosure one-third, and 
the remaining two-thirds for the commoners and freeholders. 
Both Crown and inhabitants were well pleased with the result. 
The commons were measured, and surveys made that divided 
the lands into three sorts best, middle, and worst and the 
king's share was staked, and maps showing the results were 
drafted. The surveys were not completed until 1640, and 
all the preliminaries having been adjusted, the king caused all 
the deer to be destroyed or removed, and since that date the 
report expressly states that there were never any deer whatever 
within the High Peak Forest. The extirpation of the deer 
was almost immediately followed by the beginning of "the 
troublous times" that preceded the actual outbreak of the Civil 


War, and hence further proceedings came for a time to an 

Throughout the Commonwealth, though it had lost its deer, 
and though the forest laws were upset, the Peak Forest 
remained as hitherto, and no enclosures were carried out. 

"A Survey of the Mannor and Lordship or Liberty of the 
High Peake with the rights, members, and appurtenances 
thereof lyeing and being in the county of Derby, late parcell 
of possessions of Charles Stuart, late King of England in right 
of the Honor of Tutbury, parcell of his Duchy of Lancaster," 
was taken by order of Parliament in July, 1650. 

The Commissioners reported that the chief rents due from 
freeholders, "holding by Harryott Service and paying Harryott 
and holding in free Socage," amounted to ^72 i2s. 2\d. ; 
chief rents from freeholders, " not Harryottable," 5 17^. id. ; 
rents of assize from copyholders, 3 14$-. 7^. ; profits of tolls 
of four fairs at Chapel-en-le-Frith (on Ascension Day, Thurs- 
day after Trinity Sunday, 7th of July, and Thursday after 
Michaelmas Day), with the passage and stallage of these fairs, 
and also the passage and through toll levied on packs and 
carriages passing at Hayfield and Whaley Bridge, .7 ; per- 
quisites and profits of Court Leets and Court Barons, 24 ; 
waifs, strays, and felons' goods and deodands, 5 ; fisheries, 
2os. ; fowlings, hawkings, and huntings, 2os. 

They further reported that King Charles, in February, 1636, 
had demised to Walter Vernon all perquisites and amerce- 
ments of two court leets and fifteen small courts to be held 
yearly, and all heriots and reliefs for thirty-one years at a 
rental of 10. 

An additional report was made in July 1652, " of all such 
Remaine of Rents now unsold belonging to ye manner Lord- 
ship Liberty and Hundred of ye High Peake alias the Wapen- 
take of ye High Peake . . . commonly called Cheife Rents 
money, palfry money, Turbary money, Common Fine silver, 
& Tything silver." These rents were estimated at 15 6s. *]d. 
a year ; they were proportionate payments from the various 
townships. A simple payment for palfrey money is entered 
against all the townships ; such are Whitfield and Chisworth, 
is. io^d. ; Hayfield and Dinting, is. ^d. ; Tideswell, 2s. 6d. ; 
and Hassop, 5^. In addition, Tideswell paid 5^. ; Haslebache, 


zs. 6d. ; and Litton and Ward low, each 3-r. 4^. for turbary ; 
whilst Little Hucklow stands alone with i s. for common silver. 
The Parliamentary trustees had sold the forest rights named in 
the previous report to " Capt. David Hurdum, trustee on the 
behalf of Colonel Hughson's Regiment." 

It was not until 1674 that the project for disafforesting the 
Peak Forest, and enclosing the cultivatable or good pasturing 
portions was completed. The Commissioners appointed for 
the purpose were Sir John Cassy, Sir John Gell, and fifteen 
others, including such well-known Peak names as Bagshaw, 
Eyre, and Shalcross. 


DUFFIELD FRITH, or forest, was the name of a con- 
siderable expanse of forest land a few miles to the north 
of the county town. Though one of the smaller of the 
royal forests, it had a circuit of somewhat over thirty miles, 
even in the days of Queen Elizabeth, when it had undergone 
considerable reduction. 

Henry de Ferrers, one of the chief favourites of the 
Conqueror, held no fewer than 1 14 manors or lordships in 
Derbyshire, at the time of the Domesday Survey, as well as 
many others on the borders of the shire. Duffield, on the 
Derwent, at the entrance of the valley that gave access to 
the lead mines of Wirksworth, made an admirable centre 
for the controlling government of the great Norman baron. 
Here, on a site formerly used both by Romans and Saxons, 
he erected a most massive fortress, which was demolished 
temp. Henry III., in consequence of the rebellion of his 
descendant, Robert Earl Ferrers. 

From the time when the forfeited Ferrers' estates were con- 
firmed by the Crown on Edmund Earl of Lancaster, Duffield 
and Duffield Frith became part of the honor of Tutbury, 
and formed a valuable section of the property of the earldom, 
afterwards the Duchy of Lancaster. The frith was not a true 
royal forest until Henry Duke of Lancaster came to the 
throne as Henry IV. in 1399. It had, however, been techni- 
cally ruled as a royal forest for more than a century before 
that date; for Edward I., at the beginning of his reign, 
granted his brother Edmund the right of having justices of 
the forest, whenever the king appointed such for his own 
forests, and also granted him and his heirs of the earldom 



the fines and ransoms that might accrue from the holding 
of the eyre. After the destruction of Duffield Castle, the 
castle of Tutbury became the centre of the forest jurisdiction 
of Duffield Frith and the prison for venison trespassers. 

Such history as can be given of this forest is very meagre 
for the earlier period ; but at a later date, when the earlier 


forest legislation was in many respects falling into desuetude, 
the records of the attachment or swainmote courts almost 
invariably termed woodmotes in this forest as well as par- 
ticulars as to its customs are unusually full and interesting. 
They offer considerable contrast in many respects to the 
records of the Peak Forest. In the Peak the deer, save for 
a few fallow "chance" deer or strays, and some roe deer in 
its earlier days, was exclusively red ; in Duffield Frith, on 
the other hand, the deer were exclusively fallow. In the 


wild Peak district the bounds of the forest were only known 
from encircling rivers or streams, or from boundary stones 
and crosses ; and there was but one kind of park, namely, 
the great stone enclosure of Champion or Campana. Con- 
trariwise, Duffield Forest had pales all round it, which the 
adjacent tenants were bound to keep in repair, and it abounded 
in a number of separately paled and specially preserved parks. 

The Peak Forest was never in any way wooded throughout 
by far the larger part of its area ; but Duffield was wooded 
almost everywhere when first it came into the hands of the 
Ferrers. Nevertheless, in the stonier stretches of parts of 
Duffield and Colebrook wards there must have been much 
that was always thinly covered with undergrowth, whilst a 
considerable part of the area had no resemblance to what is 
now understood as forest by the time that it became part 
of the earldom of Lancaster. 

The singularly full accounts of the opening years of 
Edward II. show that Duffield Frith not only included within 
its area a great number of parks, which were the special 
homes of the deer though the park fences, whilst excluding 
cattle, etc., permitted them to wander at will through other 
parts of the forest but also cow pastures, small sheep walks, 
coal mines, and iron forges. 

As to the parks, they were thus distributed in the time of 
Edward I., and remained so (save for the speedily extinguished 
Champagne park) until the seventeenth century. Ravensdale 
(where was the central lodge or manor house of the whole 
forest) and Mansell parks, in Hulland ward ; Champagne, 
Postern, and part of Shottle park, in Duffield ward ; Milnhay 
(not always reckoned as a park, but separately paled) and the 
larger part of Shottle park, in Colebrook ward ; and Lady 
or Little Helper and Morley parks, in Helper ward. 

In an account of Helper ward for 1272-3 occurs the earliest 
known mention of the chapel adjoining the Helper manor 
house, which was expressly founded for the use of the foresters. 
John, the chaplain who celebrated at that chapel, held 7 acres 
and i rood of demesne land in Fishyard, in lieu of rent of 
nine cottages built on 3 acres of land that had been previously 
granted to the Helper chaplain. 

At a Helper woodmote court of 1304, various offenders pre- 


sented by the foresters paid i2d. as fines for suffering foals and 
mares to wander in the ward, and smaller fines for plough- 
cattle and sheep. At a Duffield ward woodmote of the same 
year, several vert trespassers were presented for carrying off 
loads of green oak and of whitethorn. 

The accounts of Duffield Forest, as returned to the duchy 
receiver-general, from Michaelmas, 1313, to Michaelmas, 
1314, are exceptionally full and detailed. 

For Belper ward William de Simondsley was the receiver, 
and his receipts, including arrears from previous years of over 
8, amounted to 109 us. n^d. Six score hens were sold for 
i$s. to supply the lord's table at Donnington, and 3-r. 4^. was 
obtained elsewhere for another score. The winter agistment 
of plough-cattle throughout the ward realised 7^. ud., and the 
summer agistment 4 is. ^d. The summer agistment fees 
for Morley park were $is. , and the herbage of a close near the 
park gate sold for i2d. There were no receipts that year from 
the little park of Belper. Thirty-four acres of meadow at 
Belper laund realised 33^. 2d. Not more than twelve acres 
were mown there for the coming of the lord to Belper ; that 
was, we suppose, to supply the horses of his retinue with 
fodder. Twenty acres were mown there for storage for the 
lord at the deer-house, and twenty acres more for a like 
purpose (i.e. for winter food for the deer) at Bullsmore. 
Twenty-three acres of meadow grass in Morley park were 
sold for i8s. \\d., and the residue was cut and stored for the 
lord. The fishing of the Derwent was let for 5^., and ^s. 
was paid by fowlers for licence to catch birds in the ward. 
There was no honey or wax entered for the year. Wood and 
bark sales realised 19^. An unclaimed stray ox was sold for 
8s. , while 6d. was paid to redeem a stray calf, and 2s. to 
redeem two stirks. The large sum of 13 los. was obtained 
for getting coal at " Denebyhuyrum." The ward woodmote 
fines and court fees brought in ,4 $s. lod. But far the largest 
receipts of this ward were for the forges or smithies, for Belper, 
as early as the beginning of the fourteenth century, had a 
considerable sale for nails. One forge that was at work for 
eleven weeks, save four days from Michaelmas to St. Thomas 
the Apostle's Day, paid a farm rent or royalty of j 8s. io%d. ; 
whilst two forges that were working twenty-four weeks, save 


four days, namely, from the Purification to Michaelmas, 
brought in .63 6s. 8d. It was, doubtless, the presence of coal 
near the surface round Belper (which was not exhausted till 
near the end of the eighteenth century) that brought the trade 
in wrought iron to this part of the forest. 

The first item of expenditure entered is 3^. 2d. for Duffield 
rectorial tithes on the herbage of Morley park, and of a close 
there. A particularly interesting customary payment, denoting 
the risk incurred in traversing the roads of Duffield Forest, is 
8s. for warding the road of the Cross (via de la rode) on Derby 
market days, a duty that devolved on the forest officials. The 
sum of 39-$-. \\\d. was spent in making 482 pales for the new 
fencing of Morley park and Belper laund, and 26s. *j\d. in 
repairing and re-erecting 384 broken or prostrate pales in the 
same fences. The man who worked for sixty-three days in 
mending the broken and defective pales, received $s. 3^., or a 
wage of id. a day. The sum of $s. 6d. was paid for strewing 
the deer-browse or loppings in the winter through the ward 
and in the little park. Thatching the roof of the great larder 
for the salted venison, adjoining Belper manor house, cost 2s., 
while 26s. was paid for the salt required that year in the larder. 
Fourpence was the small sum paid for measuring the pasturage 
within and without the park. The sum of ,90 'js. 8%d. of the 
receipts was handed over to Nicholas de Shipley through ten 
tallies. At the end of the year the receiver still owed to the 
earl 8 os. 6d. 

Of Duffield ward Ralph le Corviser was the receiver ; his 
receipts, including arrears, were 20 i8s. yd. The first entry 
among the receipts is i2S. gd. for 102 hens sold for the lord's 
table, and i2d. for six hens sold elsewhere. The winter and 
summer agistment throughout the ward, including the parks 
of Shottle and Postern and the herbage of "Muxelclif" and 
Longley, produced no monetary return, for it was all pastured 
or mown for the lord. The pannage of swine from two persons 
outside the ward brought in 2S. ; the fishing of the Ecclesburn, 
\2d. ; the fishery of the Derwent, $d. ; the sale of wood, bark, 
and deer-browse, 315. 8d. ; the licensing of fowlers, 2S. ; and 
the woodmote fees and fines, 34^. 2d. The receiver of this 
ward also accounted for 41 6s. 2^., paid in pannage pence for 
swine throughout the whole forest, deducting the tithes of the 


same payable to the prior of Tutbury, and 55^. for the pannage 
of small pigs. The outgoings show that this ward, like that 
of Helper, also paid 8s. a year for guarding the road of the 
Cross on Derby market days. 

The heaviest outgoing was the aggregate sum of 3 2s. i \\d. 
for renewing and repairing the pale fences and clearing the 
dykes, particularly round Shottle Park ; 4?. $\d. was also paid 
for new fencing within that park by the side of the Ecclesburn 
to protect the meadow land there, and \^d. for making a water 
gate. There were further small sums for park gates, and for 
mending a bridge and for the carriage of the timber for these 
various purposes. The sum of 2s. qd. was paid for strewing 
deer-browse in the winter. A pinfold was removed from 
Hazelwood and carried to Shottle at the small charge of 6d. 
The most interesting outlay in the accounts of this ward is the 
expenditure of the sum of 6^. 8d. on mending the road be- 
tween the parks of Shottle and Postern for the carriage of 
coal to the lord's forge, which stood, as we learn from other 
accounts, on the further side of the Ecclesburn, just beyond 
Cowhouse Lane. The expenses of the foresters and others in 
connection with the pannage amounted to 17.?. &., whilst 
149. ^d. was paid to the clerks of the master forester and the 
attorney of the prior of Tutbury and the foresters at the 
pannage court. 

Of Colebrook ward, John FitzRalph was the receiver, and 
his receipts for the year, including the recovery of the large 
amount of 36 gs. io\d. of arrears, came to 70 13^. 6\d. 
The agistment of Milnhay produced $is. io\d., and of Shottle 
park (most of which was in this ward) 15 ids. yd. The 
herbage of Schymeed (Shining Cliff) brought in ifs. The 
townships of Alderwasley, Colebrook, Ashleyhay, Hulland, 
Newbiggin, and Idridgehay paid a composition of 4^., prob- 
ably as an acknowledgment from the "outlands" parks. The 
fishery of the Ecclesburn produced nothing that year, but 6d. 
was paid for the Derwent fishery rights of this ward. Henry 
del Hay paid 2$. as composition with the lord's tenants within 
the forest. Licences for fowlers in this ward and in Shottle 
produced 4^. The sale of wood, bark, and boughs realised 
17-r. 6d. Following this comes an entry that seems to imply 
an occasional sale of thick oak bark, or cork, for some specific 


use. The entry runs, De cork nil hoc anno. The word " cork " 
is derived from the Latin cortex. Reference has already been 
made to the maple bowls from this ward. 

The outgoings begin with a like entry of 8^. to the two 
wards already mentioned for warding the road of the Cross on 
Derby market days. The paler for this road and Shottle park 
received an annual stipend of 5-r. for repairs, and in addi- 
tion he received this year icw. lod. for the making of 
new pales. The strewing of the deer-browse in the severe 
weather cost 7^. $d. The considerable sum of 40^. was paid 
to Peter Bulners for carrying a letter of Lord Robert de 
Holand directed to the receiver at Tutbury. From the sum- 
mary at the end of the ward accounts, it seems that the 
receiver of Colebrook had in hand the great sum of 40 is. i id. 
for the sale of bowl* wood for that and the two preceding 
years, and that he sought instructions how he was to allo- 
cate it. 

Of the ward of Hulland, John Hulleson was the ward re- 
ceiver; the receipts for the year, including 66s. 8^d. of arrears, 
amounted to 29 7.?. z\d. The agistment of the two parks of 
this ward Mansell and Ravensdale realised the respective 
sums of 35-r. 3d. and 36$. lod. The sale of wood, bark and 
boughs produced 17 13^. 4^. ; 2Od. was received in fines for 
two stray colts, $s. for the sale of a waif, and 4 is. nd. as 
court fees of the woodmotes. There is an entry of 2s. under 
the head of cheminage ; the wayleave in this case was prob- 
ably for some exceptional transit during the fence month. 
The exceptional entry for this ward is 4-$-. 6d. for " ix. coks- 

The outgoings of this ward begin with the entry of 4^. for 
warding the Corkley road (via de CorkelegJi) on Derby market 
days. Corkley is the name still borne by an isolated farm- 
house about a mile south of Turnditch, on the margin of 
Hulland ward. The yearly wage of the keeper of Ravens- 
dale park amounted to 63$. 8d. Within this park stood the 
chief lodge of DufHeld Frith, which was the hunting seat of 
the earls and dukes of Lancaster when in this part of their 
estates, and which was occasionally honoured by the presence 
of royalty. Very considerable repairs were done to the lodge 
and park of Ravensdale during this year. The small sum of 


"js. 6d. was paid for preparing i 5 3OO shingles (cendulce) and 200 
boards for roofing the different parts of the manor house ; the 
timber itself would, of course, be provided out of the forest. 
Painted glass for the windows of the manor chapel only cost 
i6s., but i8d. was also paid for buying iron and making it into 
bars for the support of these windows. The renewing of the 
park pales of Ravensdale and repairing and setting up the 
old ones cost ijs. 3^d., whilst 4^. 4^. was spent over the park 
gates towards Corkley and at " Schakesdon." The making 
good of eighty-five new pales, and the repairing of upwards 
of 600 old pales of Mansell park, cost 3 los. nd. A new 
hedge for part of the same park toward Pintclifford cost 
13^., and 2s. was spent in mending the deer-leap towards 

Under the head of Venatio de Duffeld Frith, full particulars 
are given of all the venison taken in the forest, and its disposal. 
The grand total for the year was : one hart, ninety-six bucks, 
and twenty-five does. 

The stock of the forest is next set forth under the heading 
Instaur' de Duffeld. The account is rendered by Robert Frely 
and Nicholas Fitz-Giles, the stockmen (instauratores} of Duf- 
field. The sale of thirty-two of the lord's oxen realised 
,23 3>r. 4^., an exceptionally good price. A bull and sixteen 
cows in calf sold for g 13$. The skins and flesh of four 
cows, the skins of six cows, the skins and flesh of four steers, 
and the skins of twenty-seven calves sold for 44^. gd. The 
milk of eighty-eight cows brought in g 2s. 6d. There were 
but few sheep on the outskirts of the forest ; the ewes were 
milked, but the sheep account was annexed to that of Hart- 
ington. The rest of the receipts came from mowing and 
carrying the hay of two tenants. 

The payments included 30-$-. 2d. in wages for those who 
looked after the cattle and calves in Postern park ; 36^. ^d. for 
mowing, and i8s. 2d. for haymaking and carrying the hay of 
eighty-seven acres in the same park ; and 2is. 6d. for carrying 
105 loads of hay from Longley Meadows, Postern park, Mor- 
ley park, and Bullsmoor to the cowhouses of Postern and 
Belper. The sum of 3^. 8d. was paid for stubbing up two 
acres of waste, and hedging it in for the sustenance of calves 
and colts, and 3^. 2d. for two quarters of oats for sowing the 


same. The dairy at Postern had i6s. 8s. expended on its 
various buildings, and 4-$-. gd. was spent on mending the road 
by the Ecclesburn, to permit of the carriage of timber for the 
work. The sum of i6s. 8{d. was spent on hedges and ditches 
round " Maxenclif " and " Mareclos " in the same park, and 4^. 
in repairing the fence of Bullsmoor. A shilling was expended 
on drugs for sickly cattle. 

The full return of the stock of Duffield Frith for that year was 
thirty-eight oxen, 157 cows, five bulls, thirty-three heifers, fifty- 
one steers, and seventy-three cows. Of these there were sold, 
consumed, or died in the course of the year, thirty oxen, fifty- 
one cows, two bulls, four steers, and thirty-four calves. 

Roger Beler's accounts for 1322-3, are of some interest, as 
also are those for 1326-7. The latter mention 32^. paid as the 
tithe of the mills of Duffield and Belper to the rector of Duf- 
field, which is henceforth an annual entry whenever the accounts 
are extant. Under Richard de Slope, who was then parker of 
Ravensdale, considerable repairs were done to the chief lodge 
of the forest or earl's manor house within that park, including 
22s. q.d. paid to a workman for 134 days' labour at 2d. a day on 
the roofs, doors, and windows. The total expenditure on the 
great house and park was 5 $s. 9!^., and embraced payment 
for 1,500 shingles, and 100 spikes, 100 " bordnayles," and 
painting and plastering with white clay (plasticando cum 

Among the expenses of the reeve of Belper (Simon Payn) 
for 1327-8, are some exceptional entries that throw light upon 
the then condition of that forest town and township. The 
expenses included 9 worth of lead for the water conduit in 
the park ; 39^. ^\d. for making a wall round the pond there, 
etc. ; 22s. lod. for roof shingles and for stone for the walls of 
a garderobe for the lodge ; 14.?. id. for repairing the knights' 
lodge (camere milituni), and providing it with three garderobes ; 
17^. for paling and hedging the lord's garden ; 4^. for carriage 
of venison from the Belper larder to Tutbury ; 4^. for the 
carriage of salt to the larder ; and 3^. 8d. for repairing the 
glass windows of the chapel. There was also a charge in 
another part of the accounts for a man and a cart carrying six 
does to the lord at Kenilworth. The receiver from Belper 
ward had $s. from Henry Alisson and his companions for 


licences as fowlers, and 7^. 8d. for five oaks for the garderobe 
for the camera juxta coquinam. Among the outgoings of 
Colebrook ward for that year were 27^. 5^. as tithe to the 
rector of Duffield of the agistment of Shottle park, and izd. 
for mending the hedge and the deer-leap between the forest and 
Crich Chase. 

On loth November, 1330, Henry, Earl of Lancaster lessened 
the area of Duffield Frith by bestowing Champagne park by 
charter on his beloved valet Robert Foucher and Cicely his 
wife and their heirs ; it had been disafforested and placed in 
private hands as early as the reign of Edward I. 

The records of various courts during the reigns of Edward III. 
and Richard II. yield evidence of the nature of vert and 
venison attachments ; among the former were many cases of 
damage to hornbeam trees. 

At a woodmote for Duffield Forest held in 1376-7, the 
foresters presented Ralph Gregory for having killed a doe in 
Postern park on Monday after the Feast of All Saints, and also 
a doe in the park of Shottle in the month of September ; he 
was committed to Tutbury. 

Many interesting items could also be gleaned from the full 
duchy accounts that are extant for 1377-8 and later years of 
that century, but space forbids making even the briefest ex- 

The registers of John, Duke of Lancaster, covering the close 
of the reign of Edward III. and the beginning of that of 
Richard II., contain various references to Duffield Frith, 
which have to be omitted for a like reason. 

There was a serious charge of venison trespass at a wood- 
mote held at " Le Cowhouse," Postern, on 2ist July, 1395. 
This woodmote resulted in a jury inquisition. John de Brad- 
shaw, chief forester, and Henry de Bradburne, and ten others 
swore that Thomas de Statham and John Helot took a fat 
buck (damnum de grace} in Colebrook ward with greyhounds 
on 1 5th September; that the same two, with others unknown, 
killed three bucks and a sore in Milnhay in the same ward on 
2ist September ; and further, that the same Thomas and John 
killed diverse bucks in the water in Colebrook ward. There 
was another venison presentment against Thomas Jackson and 
five others for having hunted with greyhounds in Hulland 


ward. Such offenders as these would be committed to prison, 
but released on bail, under a pledge of appearing at the next 
forest pleas held at Tutbury. At the same mote, Goditha de 
Statham, lady of Morley, the mother of Thomas Statham, the 
poacher, was presented for having five mares in the park of 

Henry Duke of Lancaster, son of John of Gaunt, when he 
came to the throne in 1399, brought Duffield Forest and the 
rest of the duchy into immediate relationship with the Crown. 
In September, 1405, the king (Henry IV.) ordered the chief 
forester to supply twelve timber oaks towards the repair of 
Duffield church. 

Henry V., almost immediately on his coming to the throne 
in 1413, made a complete change in the personnel of the chief 
officials of this forest. Sir Philip Leche was appointed master 
forester, and the following minor appointments were also made 
to all of which certain fees or perquisites pertained : 

John Bradshaw, parker of Shottle. 
Henry Bradshaw, ,, Postern. 
Thomas Bradfield, ,, Ravensdale. 
Richard Baldere, ,, Mansell. 
John Gedling 1 , ,, Belper. 

Richard Packer, ,, Morley. 
Thomas Waterhouse, forester of Colebrook. 
Richard Pilkston, ,, Hulland. 

Nicholas Adderley, ,, Belper. 

The accounts of the manors in the forest and purlieus of 
Duffield Frith for 1417 mention for the first time stipends for 
the reeves. The annual stipend of the reeve and " halswayne " 
of Duffield was us. ; those of Belper, Alderwasley and Wirks- 
worth, 5,r. ; Holbrook and Heage, 2s. ; and Hulland, Biggin 
and Ideridgehay, 2od. 

Among the Harley MSS. of the British Museum (568, 5138) 
are two transcripts of the customary of the honor of Tutbury, 
including Duffield Frith and the High Peak, with elaborate 
accounts of the duties and authorities of the different officers. 
This customary, which dates from the end of Henry V. or 
beginning of Henry VI., is chiefly concerned with Tutbury 
and Medwood forests. Several of the portions that specially 


relate to Duffield Frith have been cited in the introductory 
chapters, and most of them have been printed in volume xv. of 
the Derbyshire Archaeological Society's journal. 

A woodmote was held at Belper on i4th May, 1466. In 
addition to a variety of 2d. fines for small vert offences, several 
of the tenants in Hulland ward were fined a similar sum for 
not repairing the border fences according to their tenure. The 
parkers of Ravensdale and Mansell, as well as Postern, had 
nothing to present. The foresters of Chevin ward (an alms 
for Duffield ward) presented Ralph Sacheverell, lately of 
Snitterton, who came into the ward on 6th March, and without 
any licence cut down six oaks called "spyres" for repair of two 
houses. Various other inquiries were presented at this court. 
John Kniveton, of Mercaston, killed a fawn without warrant in 
Shottle park ; and in the same park William Cook, of Bradley, 
John Vernon, of Haddon, and John Bradburne, of Heage, 
each killed a doe, and three others a fawn. In Morley park 
John Fynedun (also an armiger] killed a doe. Thomas Gresley, 
who was deputy lieutenant of Duffield Frith, presented William, 
son of the vicar of Wirksworth, and two others for entering the 
forest on several occasions with four greyhounds. 

At another woodmote held later in the same year at Ravens- 
dale, the foresters of Belper presented that Thomas Gresley, 
late deputy lieutenant of the chase, on Thursday before the 
Feast of St. Thomas the Martyr, had killed a buck without 
warrant, also that in Whitsun week he had killed another buck, 
and that William Troutbek had committed the like trespass. 
The keeper of Morley park charged Thomas Gresley with 
a like offence in that enclosure. At the same court Roger 
Vernon was presented for having sent Nicholas Bromhall, of 
Alderwasley, to Shining Cliff within the forest to cut down eight 
oaks called "spyres." 

The explanation of these outbreaks on the part of the county 
gentlemen is not far to seek, and they were common at this 
period throughout the forests of England. It was in the midst 
of the Wars of the Roses. Advantage was taken of this period 
of civil commotion ; those who favoured York or Lancaster, as 
the case might be, seem to have readily persuaded themselves 
that they were entitled to make a raid on the forests of the one 
or the other whom they chose to regard as a pseudo-king. 


At a woodmote held at Belper on 23rd April, 1472, John 
Harly, of Crich, yeoman, and two others were charged with 
having broken into Shottle Park in Easter week, and hunted 
with greyhounds, though they killed nothing. There were 
various fines for vert trespasses in Milnhay, Belper ward, and 
Hulland ward, the total amounting to 14^. 4^. In February, 
1480, there was a sale of all the birches with their loppings, 
and the underwood of Ladyshaw Wood. 

Robert Bradshaw was the reeve of Duffield in 1482, with a 
stipend of us. He is described as reeve voc' haselswayne. 
William Assheton, who was reeve of both Belper and Heage, 
received 5^. from each township. John Egginton, reeve of 
Holbrook, also received $s. In the forest ward returns of this 
year there is reference to the making of charcoal in Morley 

The records are preserved of several appointments of officials 
of this forest during the reign of Henry VII. In 1485 Ralph 
Langford had the comprehensive appointments bestowed on 
him of lieutenant of Duffield Frith and steward of the same 
and parker of all the parks ; but about a month later Nicholas 
Kniveton was made parker of Ravensdale. Richard Salford 
was made parker of Belper, and Sir Charles Somerset "Cap- 
tain of our guard," parker of Postern in 1487. In 1491 
Nicholas Kniveton became parker of Shottle, and in 1493 
Humphrey Bradburne became parker of Mansell. In 1503 
Roger Vernon was appointed to the custody of Shottle park. 
In 1504, on the death of John Stafford, Thomas Day, "a valet 
of our chamber," was made custodian of Morley park. 

There are interesting full returns as to the venison of 
Duffield Frith, killed both legitimately and illegitimately, for 
the year 1498, as presented at a woodmote held at Cowhouse. 
Shottle park : A doe was killed on the Sunday after St. 
Barnabas' Day in the Blackbrook, and carried out of the pale 
and stolen, but the offender was unknown. About the same 
time a doe was killed and afterwards taken to Thomas Parker's 
house. Roger Vernon had a buck from the keeper. The 
Earl of Shrewsbury killed a buck, eleven sores, and a sorell, 
and gave them to Sir Harry Willoughby and other squires 
and gentlemen that were with him. The following were the 
deer given either by special warrant or by the earl or keeper : 


Anthony Babington and Henry Sacheverell, each a sore ; 
Thomas Talbot, a sore and a doe ; Nicholas Shirley, a sore ; 
Godfrey Foljambe, Thomas Leghe, Master Elton, William 
Sacheverell, Edward Savage, Master Stokes, Thomas Moly- 
neux, William Gresley, the Abbot of Dale, and John Alsop 
had each a buck. The keeper himself had 4 bucks and a sore. 
Also the bailiff of Derby and others of the same town had a 
buck on the Monday after St. Giles' Day. Murrain killed 23 
"deer of auntelers," 16 prickets and does, and 32 fawns. 
Mansellpark: Sir Ralph Longford and Sir Henry Willoughby 
had each a buck ; John Montgomery, John Fitzherbert, and 
John Ireton had each a sore, and Roger Vernon a buck and a 
doe. A buck, a sorell, 4 does, and 5 fawns died of murrain. 
Postern park: The Earl of Shrewsbury, Lady Hastings, John 
Dettrick, Ralph Illingworth, Godfrey Foljambe, Roger Vernon, 
Humphrey Bradburne, and Sir Henry Willoughby had each 
a buck. Nicholas Kniveton the younger and Humphrey 
Bradburne killed a sore by their own authority. The keeper 
had a sore. "The patent man had a soure for his sute." A 
sorell was stolen, by whom unknown. Master Talbot, a buck 
by his own authority. Sir Ralph Longford, Sir Thomas 
Gresley, and Sir John Montgomery killed 2 bucks and a doe 
by their own authority. "A chaunce buk ley out and was 
hurt in the bak and giffen to John Agard ; a buk was hurt on 
our Ladys own Assumcion and was found dead and was lost." 
Three bucks, a sore, 3 sorells, 7 does, and 12 fawns died of 
murrain. The Lady park of Belper : The auditor, a doe and 
a fawn. William Pope, a doe. The murrain killed a buck 
and two does. Morley park : Sir Henry Willoughby, a 
buck. Master Pole and his daughter, a sore. Master Osmond 
killed a pricket. Thomas Borow, gentleman, killed a pricket 
by warrant of Sir Ralph Longford. The keeper had a sore 
and also "a chaunce stag." "Nicholas Kniveton and Roger 
Vernon came into Morley parke and hunted by there own 
auctorite and kylled no thyng. Item the seid Nicholas brak 
the pale another tyme as he went to Butterly." A doe died of 
the murrain. Hulland Ward\ Nicholas Kniveton the elder 
and Humphrey Bradburne killed a buck "for there sute." 
Nicholas Kniveton the younger, Humphrey Bradburne, and 
Roger Vernon killed a buck by their own authority. "Then 


the said Nicholas Kniveton the younger caused a buk to be 
smytten, which Robert Bradshaw sonnes received." Ravens- 
dale park : The Earl of Shrewsbury killed a buck. Sir 
Henry Willoughby and the Commission had each a buck. 
Sir Ralph Longford and Roger Vernon each two bucks. A 
chance buck and two chance does were disposed of by the 

By the time that great sportsman Henry VIII. came to 
the throne, the stock of fallow deer had materially decreased 
throughout this forest, and the disafforesting of most of 
Colebrook ward, through the king granting so large a part 
of it to Anthony Lowe, deprived the forest deer of much 
of their wildest runs. Nevertheless, they must have been 
fairly abundant in parts as late as 1541, for the Earl of Shews- 
bury, the chief forester, wrote to the Earl of Southampton 
on 6th July hoping that the king, at his coming to Notting- 
ham, would visit his poor house at Wingfield and hunt in 
Duffield Frith ; but before the end of the month the earl was 

In 1521 there must have been deer in the parks of Ravens- 
dale and Mansell and generally throughout Hulland ward, for 
15-r. was spent in those divisions in providing winter deer- 

The king, in 1523, granted to Anthony Lowe, who was 
forester- in -fee of Duffield Frith and keeper of Milnhay, to 
occupy those offices without rendering any account or paying, 
as his father Thomas Lowe did, at ,3 1 1 s. a year for the 
exercise of those offices ; a watermill and 200 acres of land in 
Alderwasley were conferred on Anthony by the same patent. 

There are many appointments to patent offices in this forest 
entered throughout the reign of Henry VIII., such as John 
Bradshaw, keeper of Postern park ; Thomas Doughty, keeper 
of Morley park ; and Thomas Oakemanton, keeper of Ravens- 
dale park in 1510. 

Various forest appointments were also made by the Crown 
in the reign of Edward VI., such as Sir Thomas Cokayne, 
parker of Ravensdale, in June, 1553. 

The leases of the parks of Shottle and Postern, including 
rights over the deer, show how steadily the old forest customs 
were deteriorating. At the beginning of Elizabeth's reign the 


question was raised whether such leases were not equivalent 
to disafforesting. 

In Michaelmas term, 1559, Thomas Wynston, Esquire, of 
Windley Hill claiming the two parks of Shottle and Postern, 
within Duffield Frith, by a forty years' lease from Philip and 
Mary, at a rental of 86, and, for a further sum of 43 12^., 
full licence to take and use the deer within the two parks at 
his will and pleasure complained that Sir John Byron, 
Francis Curson, Esquire, Edmund Tetlowe, and Richard 
Kaye last May entered the parks, killed many of the deer, 
carried away 1,000 loads of underwood, and continued to occupy 
and hold the parks, and thus hindered the complainant in paying 
his rent to the duchy. 

There is no extant reply to this complaint, but in the follow- 
ing year the question was again raised on another charge. 

In 1560 Thomas Wynston, of Windley Hill, complained 
to the chancellor (Sir Ambrose Cave) that he held a lease 
on yearly payment of 86 from Philip and Mary of Shottle 
park, within Duffield Frith, which was a paled enclosure 
beyond man's memory, and within which there was "free 
warren of dere and other game of venerie," but that John 
Wigley, yeoman of Wirksworth, on 3rd January, " entered 
into the said parke and there hunted without lycence and 
kylled there certin dere as well as of season as note of season, 
and the same trespas hath combyned by the space of sundrie 
dayes and after to the utter destruction of the dere and game 
to the disinheritance of the Quene . . . and to the damages 
of the said Informer one hundred poundes." To this bill 
John Wigley made answer that the letters patent of Philip 
and Mary granting the deer of Shottle park to the com- 
plainant had caused the enclosure to be disparked, and that 
the defendant " claiminge to come by the said parke havinge 
a brace of greyhounds with hym, the same greyhoundes dyd 
verie soddenly breake from hym, and havinge a deere in the 
winde came at the said deer and kylled it " ; that he never 
hunted there again, and that, knowing that the complainant 
was killing off the deer and disposing of them, was not aware 
that he had committed any offence against the laws of the 

In the following year the Crown confirmed to Thomas 


Wynston the grant made by Philip and Mary in these two 
parks of timber sufficient for the repair of houses, lodges, 
hedges, and all manner of farm gear, as well as for fuel. 

An elaborate survey of this forest, giving the exact number 
of the trees and the condition of the undergrowth in each 
ward and park, was drawn up in 1560. There is no other 
known forest return of the sixteenth century which gives 
nearly such full details. It was printed in full, with other 
later surveys, in the Derbyshire Archaeological Society's 
journal for 1903. The large trees were entirely oak. There 
is not a single mention of an elm. The underwood included 
white and black thorn, hazel, holly, maple, crab-tree, and 
alder, as well as abundance of birch wood in Belper ward. 
The totals work out to the large amount of 111,968 trees, of 
which 59,412 were large oaks, 32,820 small oaks, and 19,736 
oaks in more or less state of decay " dottard oaks," and only 
suitable for fuel. 

The destruction of timber throughout Duffield Forest was 
excessive during the whole of Elizabeth's reign. The contrast 
between this survey of 1560 and another that was taken in 1587 
is most extraordinary. There were at the latter date only 
2,764 large oaks and 3,032 small oaks; they are set forth in 
detail with their estimated worth. The total value of the 
whole wood was somewhat under 2,000. 

The commissions relative to this forest during Elizabeth's 
reign were frequent. In 1581 Edward Stanhope, William 
Agard, and Simon Arden were commissioned to view and 
report on Duffield Frith. They called before them the wood- 
wards and collectors of the three wards (for Colebrook ward 
had now disappeared through the appropriation of the Lowe 
family, and Shottle park was wholly in Duffield ward), as well 
as divers of the tenants and freeholders, and by their informa- 
tion and their own perambulations arrived at the following 
conclusions : That there is a woodward and collector or 
forester-in-fee of each ward; that these wards were "till of 
late years replenished with game and fallow deare, and had 
divers other officers and ministers of chase as foresters-in-fee, 
bow-bearers, and such like " ; that as " the said game is utterlie 
destroyed ' they did not call for sight of such grants ; that in 
Hulland there is a great deal of plain ground as well as 


of woody and bushy ground ; that in Duffield there is much 
plain ground and also a great deal of thin set wood ground by 
name of Chevin ; that in Helper there is much plain ground 
and a good deal of wood soil chiefly set with birch under- 
wood ; that the tenants of the frith and the copyholders 
bordering on the same have every third year reasonable hedge- 
bote out of the woods to hedge their common cornfields, and 
in winter to lop hollies and other undergrowth for relief of 
the queen's game when there were deer, and for their own 
cattle and sheep ; that all borderers and strangers taking away 
any fuel, wood or browse (other than what may be sold by the 
collectors) are amerced at the woodmote courts ; that all the 
alders throughout the wards had been lately felled and sold 
for Her Majesty's use ; that all tenants of Duffield, Belper, 
Makeney, Hazelwood, Windley, Turnditch, Holbrook, Hul- 
land, Ideridghay, Biggin, Ireton Wood, and Heage, and 
other houses in the precincts of the frith claim and use common 
of sheep and cattle ; that small benefit would accrue to the 
Crown from the encopsing of the woods, and that it would be 
prejudicial to the tenants, who are mainly poor and dependent 
on the relief of pasturage in the frith ; that the underwood 
might with advantage be divided into ten parts or "hagges," 
and let on lease, selling every year one part ; that the aptest 
places for setting up "any bloweng mill for the melting of 
lead ower (the same intended to be a water mill)" is in the Hul- 
land ward at a little brook called Hulland brook, and in 
Chevin or Duffield ward at Blackbrook, " so that there may be 
one small overshot mill at cache of them, and will have water 
to furnish worke one day at thone and an other day at the 
other, onles it be in the drowght of somer " ; that near Hulland 
brook are " one or two great and auncient heapes of Iron slag 
or cinders whereby it should seem there hathe ben some 
water worke there for melting of Iron stone " ; and that the 
same preferment for lead ore should be charged in the manors 
of the frith as in the Wapentake of Wirksworth, namely, a 
halfpenny for every load of ore, twelve loads commonly 
making a fother of lead. 

In 1587 the inhabitants and borderers of Duffield Frith, 
numbering 509 copyholders, freeholders, and ancient cot- 
tagers and householders (forming a population of 1,800 with 


their wives and children) petitioned the queen not to carry out 
the project of leasing the underwood, as they had from time 
beyond memory been accustomed to crop and browse of these 
woods from Martinmas to the end of February for their cattle 
whenever the weather was severe, paying a price for the same 
at the end of the winter. If the leasing was carried out, they 
considered they would be debarred from this, as well as from 
their customary rights of fuel wood, and wood for the repairs 
of their houses and hedges, and that they would " be utterly 
impoverished thereby and constrayned to seek dwellings other 
where." This petition was presented in September, 1587, 
and in June, 1588, Edward Stanhope was appointed by the 
Council of the duchy to enter into the grievances of these 
tenants. On 5th July he met seven representatives of the 
tenants at Nottingham, but after several adjournments they 
were able to come to no satisfactory compromise. 

In 1592 another commission was appointed to secure true 
measurements of the " woodgrounds " of the frith, but after 
thrice meeting the commissioners, the local jury declared 
that it was impossible to execute such a task, giving their 
reasons at length, which were chiefly because of the various 
barren and stony places with which the woodlands were 

The woodmote courts continued to be held and were busily 
engaged in fining vert trespassers. At the court held at Cow- 
house Lane in July, 1593, fifteen offenders who had carried off 
green wood in Duffield ward were fined in sums varying from 
$d. to 6d., thirty-nine in Belper ward, and sixty-four in 
Hulland ward. The fines amounted to 35^. ; a pannage 
court was held the same day, when a penny each was received 
for 109 pigs. 

At a woodmote held at Hulland on 2ist September, 1597, 
the only business transacted was the imposing two fines of 2s. 
each for cutting down trees. At the woodmote held at Chevin 
House, on nth August, 1598, many vert trespassers were pre- 
sented. In the Belper ward one offender was charged with 
removing so many " bigis Anglia sleydfulls " of wood. In 
other returns of this reign the taking of sledges and drags of 
woods are mentioned. Thomas Sympson incurred the heavy 
fine of 3-r. 4^. for cutting various birches. 


On i gth December, 1598, another court was held at Chevin 
House, before Anthony Bradshaw, as deputy steward ; the 
foresters who appeared were John Curzon, William Kniveton, 
and William Bradburne, esquires, and John Brockshaw, 
gentleman. The names of agisters, parkers, and ward col- 
tectors are also set forth. Henry Butler held the joint 
sinecure offices of bow-bearer and axe-bearer, while Richard 
Clark was the ranger. A large number of vert trespassers 
were fined, chiefly in sums of 4^. and 6d. ; in various cases the 
offenders are described as taking of horseloads, sleighloads, or 
les backburdens ligni. 

At a woodmote held at Chevin House, on nth March, 1600, 
by Anthony Bradshaw as deputy steward, John Curzon was 
present both as lieutenant and forester, and the other foresters 
were Sir Humphrey Ferrers, William Kniveton, and John 
Brockshaw. Thomas Johnson, the keeper of the two parks of 
Manshull and Ravensdale was fined 2s. for absence, and the 
parker of Morley is. for a like offence. No fewer than 123 
vert trespassers were fined, in sums varying from 2.d. to \2.d. 
" Waynelodes" are mentioned among the amounts of wood 

At the next court, held on 8th July, two trees were 
assigned to the town of Duffield towards the repair of their 
bridge. Among the fines is the very heavy one of los. which 
had to be paid by Richard Feme, for he not only cut two cart- 
loads of green wood, but sold them at Derby. 

Anthony Bradshaw, fourth son of William Bradshaw, of 
Bradshaw, the deputy steward of the forest, who did so much 
to sustain the privileges of the tenants of Duffield Frith, re- 
sided at Farley Hall. He was a man of some literary power, 
and wrote a long curious poem of fifty-four stanzas, early in 
the reign of James I., entitled "A Frend's due Commendacion 
of Duffeld Frith." It is printed in vol. xxiii. of the Reliquary. 
He mentions therein the Earl of Shrewsbury as high steward 
and John Curzon as lieutenant. The six parks of Morley, 
Belper, Postern, Shottle, Ravensdale, and Mansell are all 
named, but they were all farmed "andyeald nodeareatall," save 
Mansell, and that " verie small." From these rhymes we learn 
that "Tacke courtes " were held in addition to the woodmote, 
"at Luke's day and Martinmas," and the tack dinner, when 


each man had a hen in his pie, mentioned in the old customary, 
was still maintained. 

At a woodmote held by Anthony Bradshaw, in 1604, there 
were nine cases of fines of i2d. each for beating down and 
collecting acorns ; for taking a cartload de le Oiler (alder) wood, 
a man was fined 6d., and the like fine was imposed for taking a 
load of tynsell wood, or oven fuel; whilst I2d. was paid for 
removing a load of le Oiler poles. 

At the court held at Chevinsyde, on July, 1605, Sir Edward 
Cokayne, keeper of Mansell park, appeared through William 
Jesson, his deputy. Henry Butler, bow-bearer and axe-bearer 
did not appear, and pleaded that he ought not to be called to 
"wood pryses." Forty-five transgressors were fined on this 
occasion. The ranger received a perquisite of wood for pro- 
viding dinner Tor the officers of the court. This is the latest 
date at which we have found direct evidence of the presence 
of deer in the forest. William Jesson, as deputy of Sir 
Edward Cokayne, swore that there then remained seventy-six 
deer in Mansell park, and that four or five had died in the last 

As matters ripened in Derbyshire against the arbitrary actions 
of Charles I. and his advisers, the Crown claims over the 
district of Duffield forest, more particularly in the old ward 
of Colebrook, were more resisted and became more difficult to 
establish. A singular agreement was come to between the 
duchy and one Richard Neville to the effect that he should 
have such land as by prosecution he could recover for the 
Crown in Uttoxeter ward, Needwood forest, and in Cole- 
brook ward, Duffield forest, at a rental of izd. per acre. 
Neville succeeded in recovering much land in and around 
Colebrook ward for the crown as part of the old royal frith 
of Duffield. He was, however, not only put to heavy legal 
costs, but his attempts to inclose were naturally resisted, lead- 
ing to many riots and disorders. In December, 1639, Neville 
petitioned the crown for an abatement of the covenanted rent, 
as he not only found much of the land barren, but he was still 
exposed to daily damage and interruption. 

On 20th February, 1640, Richard Neville, described as a 
gentleman of the bedchamber to the prince, obtained a formal 
grant in fee-farm of the common or waste called " Milshay or 


Millmore, or Milshayward de Colebrookward," parcel of 
Duffield Frith, and other lands recovered by his prosecutions, 
charged with a rent of ^45 3-r. per annum ; but at the same 
time 550 acres of Millhay was assigned to Edward Potterell 
and others as trustees for the commoners and tenants of Alder- 
wasley and Ashleyhay at a rent of 2^. per annum. Probably 
the Crown, in accordance with the usual disafforesting arrange- 
ments of this reign, took one-third of the common, the other 
two-thirds being reserved for the commoners. 

The statements appended to a Parliamentary Survey of this 
forest give a clear insight into the action of the Crown as to 
the commoners during this reign. 

A survey of the " Royaltye of the late disforrested Forest or 
Chase called Duffield Frith . . . late parcell of the possessions 
of Charles Stuart late king of England " was made in July, 
1650, by order of Parliament. The chief rent due from several 
adjacent townships for liberty of commonage amounted to 
56^. Afd. ; the royalty, including waifs, strays, felons' goods, 
hawking, and hunting, 40^. ; of cottages on encroachments, 
,24 13.?. zd. ; and "the mines delfes or pitts of coale now 
in use or hereafter to be digged . . . with liberty of ruckeing 
and stackeing of such coales . . . and of erecting of cottages 
for the habitacion of collyers with free passage for horses, 
carts, and carriages passing to and from the said coale delfes," 
^"30. The commissioners let the benefits of the royalties and 
of the coal for a year to John Mundy, of Allestree, and Thomas 
Newton, of Duffield. 

The report cites the grant of 4th September, 1634, when a 
third part of Belper ward, 561 acres, assigned to the king by 
the Council of the duchy in the previous year, was transferred 
to Sir Edward Sydenham at a yearly rent of 2is. 8d. At the 
same time it was proposed to assign to the king a third part 
of Chevin ward, to be chosen by lot, the remaining two-thirds 
to be granted to the commoners at 2s. per acre for all they 
enclosed, being discharged of their old rent of $6s. 4^. ; but 
only thirty-one commoners agreed to this proposal, upwards 
of four hundred being opposed to it. Nevertheless, a decree 
was passed for a division in the duchy chamber, and the 
king's commissioners took what part they liked best without 
any casting of lots, taking in all the places "where the Coale 


Delfes are now sunke." In September, 1634, tne king granted 
this third part of Chevin ward to Sir Edward Sydenham, and 
it was enclosed; and "the inhabitants were compelled by force 
and terror to submite thereunto." Nor were the other two 
parts ever granted to the commoners in fee-farm, although 
enclosed, nor were any admitted tenants of this enclosed 
ground, save the small minority who had agreed to the en- 
closure. Thereupon, in 1643, the inhabitants threw open all 
the enclosures of this ward, including the king's third part, and 
since enjoyed it all in common. " Had not the distraction by 
the late Warres prevented them, they had all joyned in a Bill 
of Reveiwe to reverse the Decree made upon soe slender 
grounds and soe illegally without theire consent." The com- 
missioners stated that they had had all this testified to them by 
a jury consisting of " men of qualitye and sufficient abilityes 
in those partes and neighbours to the place" ; that they were 
convinced that, though a few private persons had been gainers 
by the enclosure, a far more considerable number had been 
" damnifyed thereby" ; and that therefore they considered the 
ward to be rightly common. 

The affairs of most of Colebrook ward were settled, as we 
have seen, in 1639-40. Hulland ward was divided at the same 
time as Belper ward, in 1633-4, the king's third, consisting 
of 490 acres valued at 9^. zd. a year being granted to Sir 
Edward Sydenham. The successful opposition to enclosure 
only prevailed in the large ward of Duffield or Chevin, includ- 
ing Shottle park. 

All that part of the old forest that was, by violent means, 
thrown open to the commoners in 1643 remained common 
until 1786, when 1,500 acres were enclosed by an Act of 26 
George III. 


THE old ballads of Robin Hood, which were popular 
rhymes as early as the middle of the fourteenth century, 
as we know from the Vision of Piers Ploughman, have 
probably been the chief cause of the undying fame of Sherwood 
Forest. But these pages have to deal with historic facts, and 
not with traditions, however substantial may be their basis. 
The fascinating subject of outlaw life under the greenwood 
tree of this celebrated forest must, therefore, be passed by ; 
those who desire to know all that can be known of Robin 
Hood and his ballads had better consult the five scholarly 
volumes of Mr. F. J. Child, of Boston, Mass., published in 
1882, entitled English and Scottish Popular Ballads. The 
delightful modern ballads of the Rev. R. H. Whitworth, who 
has for forty years resided, as vicar of Blidworth, in the very 
centre of ancient Sherwood, are saturated with the true forest 
spirit, and are eminently worthy of collective publication. 

The celebrated forest of Sherwood included within its bounds 
most of the central part of the county of Nottingham. Its 
exact bounds were laid down in a perambulation of 1232. 
Roughly speaking, it was twenty-five miles one way, by nine 
or ten the other ; at one extremity was the county town of 
Nottingham, and at another was Mansfield, whilst Worksop 
was close to the northern boundary. 

Many of the places afterwards within the forest are named in 
the Domesday Survey as members of the king's great manor of 
Mansfield, so that the amount of royal demesne in the district 
made its conversion by the early Norman kings into a large 
forest a comparatively easy matter. The first exact notice 
of the forest occurs in the year 1154, when William Peverel, 





the younger, answered to the forest pleas. He controlled the 
forest, and held the profits under the Crown. On the for- 
feiture of the Peverel estates the forest lapsed to the king, and 
was for some time administered by the sheriffs for the joint 
counties of Derby and Nottingham. 

In the time of Richard I., Matilda de Caux and her husband 
Ralph Fitz-Stephen, were confirmed in the office of chief 
foresters of Sherwood. Matilda died in 1223, when she was 
succeeded as chief forester-of-fee by her son John de Birkin, 
and he in his turn by his son Thomas de Birkin. In 1231 
this hereditary office came to Robert de Everingham in 
right of his wife Isabel, who was sister of Thomas de Birkin. 
Adam de Everingham was chief forester or keeper of Sherwood 
at the beginning of the reign of Edward I., and he was 
succeeded by his son Robert de Everingham. Soon after 
this, Robert de Everingham incurred the king's displeasure, 
and this office was seized by the Crown as forfeited. This 
Robert de Everingham, who was keeper in 1284, was the last 
of hereditary descent. The office was afterwards conferred at 
will by the Crown upon various persons of high position as 
a mark of royal favour. 

From the Close Rolls of 1286, it would appear that the offence 
which brought about the downfall of the last hereditary keeper 
of this forest was certain grievous abuse of his position as 
guardian of the king's deer. In November of that month the 
Crown addressed a letter to the deputy of the forest justice 
beyond Trent ordering the release from Nottingham gaol of 
Robert de Everingham, John de Everingham, John the Con- 
stable, and eight others, imprisoned for trespass of venison in 
Sherwood, in bail to twelve men, who were bound to produce 
them at the next eyre, and on condition that they would not 
hereafter incur forfeiture in that forest. 

The royal grants of oaks from Sherwood Forest were fre- 
" quent throughout the reign of Henry III. In 1228 four oaks 
were given to William Avenel, described in the grant as wait- 
ing on the King of Scotland ; two to the leper hospital of 
Chesterfield ; six to the priory of Bligh ; six to the canons 
of Newark ; and three to the priory of Thurgarton. The gifts 
to religious houses usually specify that the trees were for the 
works then in progress at the churches or other buildings. 


Occasionally these gifts from Sherwood consisted of ready- 
trimmed timber; thus in 1228 the king sent twenty beams 
[copulas] from the forest to the church of the distant priory of 
Wormegay, Norfolk, then in progress; and in 1229 forty 
rafters (chevrones) to the abbot and canons of Croxton. A 
single oak was also sent in the latter year into Norfolk to one 
Richard de St. John, chaplain of Henry de Burgs ; the bailiff 
was directed to fell one as near as possible to the river Trent, 
as it had to reach Norfolk by water carriage. In the same 
year a single oak was granted to the prior of Bligh to make 
a door for his hall. In 1231, William Bardulf had a grant from 
Sherwood Forest of twenty tree trunks suitable for timber 
(fusta ad maeremium inde faciendum}. 

Henry III. dealt generously with the fallow deer of Sher- 
wood. Thus in 1229 he gave two does to Beatrice, wife of 
Walter de Evermuth, constable of Lincoln Castle ; ten does 
and a brocket to John, the constable of Chester, to be placed in 
his park of Dunyton ; ten does and two bucks to Hugh Dis- 
pencer to help to stock his park at Loughborough ; and twenty 
does and two bucks for the Bishop of Carlisle's park at Mel- 
burne. In 1230, fifteen more does and five bucks were sent to 
Hugh Dispencer's park at Loughborough, whilst a further 
donation of ten does and two bucks was made to the same 
park in the next year. The Bishop of Lincoln received twelve 
Sherwood does and three bucks in 1231 towards the stocking 
of his park at Stowe. 

At the eyre of 1251, held at Nottingham before Geoffrey 
Langley, chief justice of the forests north of the Trent, an 
inquisition was held respecting the ministers of Sherwood 
Forest. It was then reported that there were within the forest 
three keepings, namely, the first between Leen and Doverbeck, 
the second the High Forest, and the third Rumewood ; and 
that Robert de Everingham, as chief keeper, ought to have 
a sworn chief servant (a riding or itinerant forester, as de- 
scribed in other forests), who was to go through all the forest 
at his own cost to attach transgressors, and to present them 
before the verderers at the attachment courts. In the first 
keeping, the chief keeper was to have one riding forester with 
a servant, two foot foresters, two verderers, and two agisters. 
In this keeping there were three parks or hays, namely, Best- 


wood, Lindley, and Welby. In the second keeping, of High 
Forest, Robert de Everingham was to have two riding foresters 
with their servants, two foot foresters, two verderers, and two 
agisters. In this keeping were the two parks of Birkland, 
with Billahaugh and Clipston, to which pertained two other 
verderers and two agisters. In the third keeping of Rume- 
wood there was to be one foot forester, two verderers, and two 
agisters ; and also two woodwards,, one for Carburton and 
another for Dudley. 

It was also declared that Robert de Everingham ought to 
provide a servant, bearing his bow, to gather cheminage 
through the forest. 

At the same inquisition it was further stated that the abbey 
of Rufford was entitled, by charter of Henry II., to a liberal 
measure of vert throughout the forest, for they could have 
whatever timber they required for the building or repairing 
not only of their establishment at Rufford, but also for all their 
granges, whether they were situated within or without the 
forest ; they also held the right of haybote, or whatever they 
required for their fences. The monks might have a forester or 
woodward of their own, but he was to do fealty before the 
king's justices, and to report at the attachment courts what 
trees had been taken by the abbey's orders. 

Among the grants of timber from this forest made to 
religious houses in the earlier part of the reign of Edward I. 
may be mentioned ten oaks, with their loppings (esccetis], for 
the Carmelite friars of Lincoln (1276) ; thirty oaks to the prior 
of Blyth, to repair his house, accidentally burned (1278); 
four oaks to the Austin friars of Tickhill, for the work of their 
church, and six to the Franciscan friars of Nottingham for 
a like purpose (1279); four oaks fit for timber to the Austin 
friars of Lincoln (1280) ; twelve oaks to the priory of Shelford 
(1281); twelve oaks to the same priory, four oaks to the 
Franciscan friars of Nottingham, and six oaks for timber to 
the Franciscan friars of Lincoln, together with twelve oaks for 
roofing shingles. Oaks were also on several occasions in this 
reign supplied from Bestwood park for the repairs of Notting- 
ham Castle, and of the royal mills below the castle. 

The royal warrants at this period for Sherwood venison and 
deer are fairly frequent. The king kept Easter, 1276, at 


Lincolft, and orders were issued on i3th March for fifteen does 
to be supplied for the royal use at that season from Sherwood 
Forest, in addition to twelve bucks from Galtres Forest. The 
keeper of Sherwood was ordered in 1277 to cause Richard 
Folyot to be supplied with two live bucks and ten does to stock 
his park at Grimston. In 1279, eight live does and four bucks 
were granted to William de Colwick to help to stock his park 
of Colwick. 

The Close Rolls supply interesting information now and 
again of merciful royal attention to venison offences. On 
2nd March, 1278, the king ordered Geoffrey de Neville, 
justice of the forest beyond Trent, to deliver John de Cokefeld 
from prison to twelve men, who were to mainpern to have 
him before the king in a month from Easter, if the king or any 
other wished to speak against him ; the charge against him 
was the taking of a stag (red deer) in Sherwood Forest. The 
same justice was ordered by Edward I., in 1280, to take no 
action against Eustace de Hacche and six other transgressors 
for having taken three does and a hind in this forest, as 
the king had pardoned them. In 1285, the heavy fine of 
100 marks on Thomas de Carducis on account of venison 
trespass in Sherwood was annulled by letters patent. 

Edward I. was much attached to the two younger sons 
of Walter Bek, baron of Eresby, Thomas and Anthony. They 
were both king's clerks, and eventually obtained high promo- 
tion ; their names occur on various occasions in connection 
with benefits from this great forest. Thomas, the second son, 
was consecrated Bishop of St. David's in 1280. On Christmas 
Day of the following year, Edward I. granted him four live 
bucks and eight live does to stock his park at Pleasley, on the 
confines of the forest. On the same day the king sent a letter 
to the justices next in eyre for pleas of the forest in the county 
of Nottingham, ordering them not to molest or vex the bishop 
on account of four bucks taken by him in the previous autumn, 
when passing through the royal forest of Sherwood, as the 
king had sanctioned, by word of mouth, his taking four bucks 
when next he passed through the forest as a royal gift. In 
1285 the same bishop was granted twelve good oak trees fit for 
timber out of these woods. Anthony Bek, the third son, the 
celebrated Bishop of Durham, was a still greater favourite 


of Edward I. In 1282, he had twenty good oaks granted him 
out of Sherwood for the construction of his houses at Somerton, 
as well as four bucks and eight does to stock his park at 
Northwell. In the following year he was the recipient of 
twelve oaks and eight live deer from the like source. The 
king, as a special mark of his favour, at the time of Anthony's 
consecration to the bishopric of Durham, in January, 1284, 
forwarded to the bishop the largest grant out of Sherwood 
Forest of which there is record, namely, ten live bucks and 
twenty live does. 

The forest pleas began to be held irregularly in the latter 
part of Henry III.'s reign, especially north of the Trent. 
There was an eyre, however, held for Sherwood at Notting- 
ham in 1263, an d again in 1267. At the latter date the abbot 
of Rufford was charged with having taken 483 oaks out 
of the forest since the last eyre ; but he successfully pleaded 
the charter of Henry II. in justification. 

With the advent of Edward I. to the throne, all attempts at 
regularity in holding the eyres seem to have been abandoned. 
So far as Sherwood was concerned, an eyre was held in 1287, 
but nearly half a century elapsed before the forest justices 
again visited Nottingham, namely, in 1334. 

The pleas of the foresters and verderers of Sherwood were 
held at Nottingham on I4th January, 1287, before Sir William 
de Vesey, Thomas de Normanville, and Richard de Creping, 
justices in eyre of the lord king. The verderers were six 
in number. Robert de Everingham was the forester-in-fee, 
and under him were eight sworn foresters. 

The following venison presentment, cited by Mr. Turner, 
may be given as an example : 

" It is presented and proved that on the Wednesday next after the 
Feast of St. William, Archbishop of York, in the year aforesaid, 
Robert, the son of Agnes Bode of Edwinstowe, and Richard atte 
Townsend of the same town, came by night through the middle 
of the town of Wellow with two fawns of a kind. And the afore- 
said Richard was taken with his fawn by men watching in the town 
of Wellow ; and committed to the stocks of Peter de la Barre of the 
same town. And the same Robert broke his stocks and fled ; there- 
fore the aforesaid Peter foond mainpernors to make answer. And 
the aforesaid Richard came, and being convicted of this is sent to 


prison (and he is ransomed elsewhere). And it is witnessed that 
Robert, the son of Agnes, is dead ; therefore nothing of him. And 
the aforesaid Peter dwells in the same county ; therefore the sheriff 
is ordered, etc." 

Sir William de Vesey and his fellow justices finding that 
the king had sustained many losses since the last eyre held 
by Robert de Neville and others, arising in many instances 
from the assize of the forest not being sufficiently observed, 
it was by them provided : 

That all verderers, in accordance with the charter of the 
forest, were to assemble every forty days to hold attachments 
for vert and venison and small pleas. 

That they were to present a single roll of vert and venison 
to the justices in eyre, and not each one a separate roll for 
his own bailiwick. 

That anyone dwelling in the forest found felling a green 
oik be attached for the next attachment court, there to find 
pledges till the next eyre, and to pay the price to the 
verderers ; a second offence to be dealt with in like manner ; 
but for a third offence to be imprisoned at Nottingham, and 
there kept till he be delivered by the king or justice of the 

That anyone dwelling outside the forest committing any 
trespass against the vert, his body is to be committed to 
prison till he be delivered by the king or justice ; for a third 
offence he is also to lose his horses and cart or his oxen and 
wagon, or their price, and that price is to be paid at the 
next attachment to the verderers for the king's use. 

That those dwelling in the forest caught cutting saplings, 
branches, or drywood from oaks, or hazels, or thorns, or limes, 
or alders, or hollies, or such-like trees without warrant, are to 
be attached by two good pledges to come to the next attach- 
ment court, there to be amerced for the king ; but if it be for 
a sapling which is of greater price than <\d. or any higher 
sum, to be attached until the next eyre. 

That escapes of beasts of the plough into the forest be 
pleaded in the attachments, and amends taken for the use of 
the king. 

That no man carry bows or arrows in the forest, outside 


the king's highway, save a sworn forester, and on the king's 
highway only in accordance with the assize of the forest. 

That no man save a sworn forester or other sworn officer 
attach any one in the future. 

That any dweller outside the forest agisting his animals 
therein is to have such animals taken before the verderers, and 
the price paid, and to make answer before the justices in eyre. 

That the great burden of so many regarders is no longer 
to be endured, but that in this forest the number be limited to 

And that those taken by night or in the fence month within 
the forest be dealt with as before. 

From the MS. book dealing with the perambulations and 
pleas of Sherwood in the reigns of Henry III. -Edward III., 
it appears that the very large number of 350 head of deer (both 
red and fallow) had fallen victims to the murrain in the year 
previous to the holding of this eyre. 

The attachment rolls of this forest for 1292-3 are chiefly 
of interest on account of the presentment of vert offences, 
and the fines assigned. A green oak was valued at 6d., and 
a dry or leafless oak at \d. A sapling (bletrum*} varied from 
id. to T>d. ; and a stub or dry trunk of a pollarded tree at 2d. 
In one case the same offender was fined \2.d. for three dry 
oaks, i2d. for two green ones, and 2.d. for a sapling. 

Another survey of the forest was held in 29 Edward I. 
(1300), when the bounds as fixed by 16 Henry III. were con- 
firmed, but with certain important additions. 

In April, 1309, the sheriff was ordered to assemble all the 
regarders and foresters to make regard or survey therein 
before the coming of the justices of the forest, and to cause 
regarders to be elected in the place of those who were dead or 
infirm, so that they be twelve in number. The foresters were 
to swear that they would lead twelve knights throughout their 
whole bailiwicks to view all the trespasses, and to set out the 
same in writing. The phrase as to the coming of the justices 
was a mere form ; it was repeated in the summons for the 
regard of Sherwood in 1312, although in neither case was the 
survey followed by an eyre. 

Ample provision of wood from this forest was made on the 


occasion of the Parliament being held at Lincoln in the early 
part of 1316. The keeper was ordered to deliver to the sheriff 
fifty leafless oaks in the wood of Bliorth, within the bounds 
of Sherwood Forest, belonging to the archbishopric of York, 
then void and in the king's hands, for the twofold object of 
making charcoal and providing boards for dressers or tressle 
tables ; also thirty oaks from the forest near the banks of the 
Trent for firewood for the king's hall ; and thirty leafless oaks 
for firewood for the king's chamber against the ensuing Parlia- 
ment at Lincoln, to be felled and carried to Lincoln by the 
sheriff, and there to be delivered by him to the clerk of the 
king's scullery. 

The oaks of Sherwood Forest were always held in good 
repute when choice timber was required. An order was made 
by Edward II., when at Nottingham Castle on 28th December, 
1324, that the sheriff of Nottingham was to have the best oak 
or other timber out of the forest that might be selected by the 
carpenters as most suitable for the construction of nine spring- 
aids. The springald was a kind of catapult weapon for the 
discharge of stones or great arrows ; these nine engines were 
required as part of the armament for the expedition into the 
duchy of Acquitaine. 

A large bundle of attachment court records from 1317 to 
1324 are of interest as showing how often these minor forest 
courts were at that period being held in Sherwood. They 
were held at four different centres, namely, Edwinstowe, 
Mansfield, Lindley, and Calverton. In the year 1317 twenty- 
two of these courts were held, six each at Edwinstowe and 
Mansfield, five at Lindley, and four at Calverton. Amongst 
those presented for vert offences in 1318 were two of the local 
secular clergy, namely, Nicholas de Nottingham, rector of Clip- 
ston, for taking a load of branches, fined id., and Robert de 
Kirkby, rector of Kirkby, who was fined 3^. for appropriating 
a dry stub. William de Bevercote, one of the prebendaries of 
Southwell, committed a more serious trespass (probably 
venison) about this date, for which he was imprisoned at 
Nottingham. In October, 1319, the king ordered his release 
to twelve mainpernors, who were to produce him before the 
justices at the next eyre. 

After an interval of nearly fifty years the forest pleas for 


Sherwood were again held at Nottingham, namely, on 2nd 
March, 1334, before Ralph de Neville, Richard de Aldborough, 
and Peter de Middleton. The following is an example of a 
venison presentment at this eyre, having reference to a tres- 
pass that was nine years old : 

"It is presented and proved that Hugh of Wotehall of Wood- 
boroug-h, William Hyend, Wilcock formerly the servant of the 
parson of Clifton, and Stephen Fleming of Nottingham, on 13 
June, 1325, were in the wood of Arnold, in the place which is called 
Throwys, with bows and arrows. And they shot a hart so that it 
died. And its flesh was found putrid and devoured by vermin in a 
place which is called Thweycehilli ; and the arrow was found in the 
said hart, wherewith it was shot. And the aforesaid Hugh came 
before the justices and is sent to prison. And the aforesaid William 
and Wilcock are not found. Nor have they anything whereby, etc. ; 
therefore let them be exacted. And the aforesaid Stephen Fleming 
is dead ; therefore nothing of him. And afterwards the aforesaid 
Hugh is brought out of prison, and is pardoned because he is poor. 
And the aforesaid William and Wilcock were exacted in the county 
and did not appear ; therefore they are outlawed." 

The number of venison presentments at this eyre was 119, 
which was not at all large considering the long period since 
the last of these courts. In several cases there was no definite 
charge of deer-slaying, or even being seen with dogs or bows 
and arrows, but simply of trespass. Such trespass would be 
by strangers at night, or during the fence month. Some of 
the transgressors were of high position, among them including 
John, son of Lord John de Grey, who was found in the Bestwood 
enclosure with bows and six greyhounds, running a herd of 
hinds (Jierdum bissaruni), of which he killed two; John le Bret, 
"due de Wenton," who killed a hind with four greyhounds ; 
and Henry Curson, of Breadsall, who killed a hind at 
" Crossedoke," in Clipston wood. 

In one case a hind met with its death in an exceptional 
manner. John Bot, of Boltby, mower of Allerton, struck a 
hind with a stone and broke one of its legs ; this caused its 
death, and it was found drowned in the stream of Allerton, by 
Langwith bridge. 

At this eyre the ministers of the forest were asked upon their 


oath from what person or persons the foresters were wont to 
receive and have their living. In reply they cited from an 
inquiry made by writ in 1289, shortly after Edward I. had 
removed Robert de Everingham from his bailiwick as here- 
ditary keeper or chief forester by reason of his misdeeds, citing 
the various extensive perquisites and privileges that he had 

In return for these emoluments Robert de Everingham pro- 
vided foresters at his own charge. It therefore followed that 
after the keepership was forfeited to the Crown, that the 
foresters were to continue to be paid by whomsoever the Crown 
from time to time appointed keeper. 

A roll of amercements of persons convicted at the attachment 
courts of -vert trespasses appraised at more than 4^., and 
which could not be amerced save at the eyre, was presented to 
the justices. This roll included about 750 trespasses, varying 
in price of the vert from 6d. for honey found in an oak, for 
boughs, and for trunks, to 2s. for a single oak. These values 
had already been paid to the verderers, and the additional 
fines now imposed by the justices varied from is. to 2s. In 
each case the names of the two pledges for the trespasser's 
appearance follow the entry of the offence. 

It is not surprising, after all this interval since the last eyre, 
to find that some of the verderers' rolls for the different attach- 
ment courts of the forest were missing for the years 1288, 
1289, 1290, and 1291. The fines imposed upon the verderers 
of 1334 for these losses amounted to the considerable sum of 
20 8s. 2d. 

As the justices of the forest so seldom appeared, they seem 
to have been all the more determined to exact appearances and 
respect when the eyre was held. The whole of the free tenants 
of the forest had to put in an appearance. On the first day 
three of them were absent. John Bardolf successfully pleaded 
that he had not received his letter of summons ; but Adam 
de Everyngham was fined 15^., and Joan, widow of Ralph 
de Birton, 6s. 8d. for their absence. The reeves and four-men 
of every township within the limits had also to be present. 
On the first day, William Goodrych, and William de Norman- 
ton, both of Lenton, were fined collectively 3,?. 4^., whilst 
William Router, the reeve of Basford, had to pay 2s. 


Before the justices left Nottingham, they issued a series 

of pardons for both venison and vert offences. Amongst the 
eighteen pardoned were Sir John le Bret, the rector of Annesley, 
and the vicar of Edwinstowe. 

In 1340, the king pardoned John, Bishop of Carlisle, for 
killing a doe in Sherwood Forest and taking it away. 

In the accounts presented by William Latimer, who was 
then keeper of Sherwood Forest, for the years 1368-9, record 
is made of the whole of the attachment courts. The return 
shows that substantial efforts were then made to comply with 
the forest law by holding attachments every forty days in each 
district ; Edwinstowe was the only centre that fell short of the 
proper number, having but seven of these forest courts during 
the twelvemonth ; nine each were held at Mansfield, Lindley, 
and Calverton. There are no special features about the pre- 
sentments of that year. 

The Sherwood exchequer accounts for 1395-6 show that 
30 of the forest profits were that year expended upon the 
royal lodge or manor house of Clipston. 

The accounts for 1430-2 give full details of the agistment 
of the park of Clipston ; cows were charged from 6d. to lod. 
each, and calves ^d. ; the total agistment for 1431 came to 
2os. *]d. Particulars are also given of the pannage in Best- 
wood park ; the average charge for each pig at this date 
was 2d. 

From an inspeximus and confirmation granted to the monks 
of Rufford in 1462, citing all their old royal charters, it ap- 
peared that the men of Clipston and Edwinstowe were not 
allowed to take anything from the abbey woods that were 
within the forest, and that the monks were at liberty to sell all 
windfalls within their woods, and to root up dead stumps, and 
take heather without let or hindrance. 

Sir William Hastings, in 1471, was granted for life by the 
Crown, the offices of constable of Nottingham Castle, together 
with that of keeper and steward of Sherwood Forest, and the 
keepership or wardship of all the parks and woods, with every 
possible privilege of agistment, pannage, cheminage, dog- 
silver, etc. The abuse of accumulating a great number of 
distinct forest offices in one man's hands and allowing all the 
work to be done by poorly paid underlings or deputies began, 


so far as Sherwood was concerned, soon after me extinction 
in Edward I.'s time of the hereditary forestership. 

In the reign of Edward IV., and subsequently, various 
appointments of king's foresters of Sherwood are entered on 
the Patent Rolls at a wage of ^d. a day. 

A forest session was held at Allerton on 3rd June, 1538. 
Among the higher officials, Thomas Earl of Rutland is 
named as master of the game, and Sir John Byron as keeper 
of Bestwood park and forester of Thorney. Eleven other 
foresters, thirty-five woodwards, fourteen regarders, three 
verderers, and the constables and four-men of twenty-eight 
townships are all specified as being in attendance. 

The large majority of the constables and " fower-men " of 
different towns stated on their corporal oath that they "doth 
knowe nothing that is to the disturbaunce of the kyng his 
game or woode within the seide Foreste." Among the ex- 
ceptions may be quoted the two following presentments from 
Mansfield : 

" Item, the Constable and Power men of the towneshippe of 
Mannsefelde sayeth that one Cristofer Shutte, Gerves Herdy, and 
one William Falcherde dothe kepe in their bowses moo Fyres then 
of right they ought to do, wherebye the kyng his woode is destroyed 
extendyng every yere to three score lodes contrarie the Statute of 
the Forest. 

" Item, that one Richarde Swynesloo, Thomas Clerke, Cristofer 
Bradeshawe [and five others] dothe staff-hyrde theire shepe of the 
Kyng his Common the number of twelve score where the Kyng his 
deare shulde have their peacablie Feadyng." 

The jury of freemen of the town of Nottingham presented 
the names of four burgesses, each of whom owned a greyhound, 
but stated that they only kept them for the purpose of hunting 
hares and foxes in the forest (to which they had a chartered 
right), and not for the disturbance of the king's game. The 
justices accepted their plea as to the motive for keeping the 
greyhounds. They also made two orders affecting the forest 
wood firstly, that no hedgebote nor firebote was to be taken 
without the deliverance of the woodward, nor any housebote 
without the deliverance of the keeper as well as the woodward ; 
and secondly, that no one was to fell any of his own wood for 




any intent "withoute the especiall lycense of the kynge his 
highnes, or the Justice of the Foreste, and that none from 
hencesforthe do take aine woode for bleaching." 

At the east end of the south aisle of Blidworth church, 
which stands on a commanding site about the centre of Sher- 
wood Forest, is a mural tablet to the memory of a local 
Elizabethan worthy, Thomas Leake, who was ranger of Blid- 
worth walk or ward of this forest. The memorial tablet was 
put up a few years later; round the margin (Plate xx.) are 
a curious number of hunting trophies, long-bows, cross-bows, 
horn, hounds, etc. The epitaph is : 

Here rests T. Leake, whose virtues were so knowne 
In all these parts, that this engraved stone 
Needs naught relate but his untimely end, 
Which was in single fig-ht, whylst youth did lend 
His ayde to valor, hee w l ease oerpast 
Many slyght dangers, greater then this last ; 
But willfulle fate in these things governs all, 
Hee towld out threescore years before his fall, 
Most of w 1 ' tyme hee wasted in this wood 
Much of his wealth, and last of all his blood. 
1608. Febr. 4. 

The date on the slab is that of its erection. The parish 
registers show that "Thomas Leeke, esquier," was buried on 
4th February, 1597-8. In the churchyard stands a massive 
cross to his memory. A brass plate affixed to it in 1836 
records that the cross was originally erected at the place in the 
woodlands where this gladiator insignis met with his death, and 
moved at that date to the churchyard. 

A careful survey made in 1609 showed that there were then 
21,009 oak trees in Birkland, and 28,900 in Bilhagh, or a total 
of 49,909, and that the trees in general were, even at that date, 
past maturity. It may here be mentioned, as showing the 
steady diminution of timber that went on from that date, 
through decay, tempest, and felling, that in 1686 the Birkland 
and Bilhagh trees only totalled 37,316, including a great 
number of hollow or decayed trees, and that in 1790 they were 
reduced to 10,117. 

A large number of these trees during this period were felled 
for the navy, particularly under the Commonwefhh ; but the 
stock was subject to further reduction on a large scale by 


exceptional grants that were made from time to time. Thus, 
about 1680 the inhabitants of Edwinstowe petitioned the Crown 
for permission to fell 200 oaks to the value of .200, out of the 
hays of Birkland and Bilhagh, for the repair of their parish 
church, then in a ruinous condition through the fall of the 
steeple. The petition was entertained, and on a survey being 
made for that purpose it was found that "although there were 
yet standing many thousand trees, few of which there were but 
what were decaying, and very few useful for the navy." 

As to the red deer of the forest the fallow deer were con- 
fined to the parks they increased during the eighteenth 
century. The 1,000 head of 1538 was admittedly only a rough 
estimate ; a more particular survey of 1616 gave the numbers 
at 1,263, an d another of 1635 at J >367. Out of the latter 
total, 987 were termed raskall, or out of condition. 

In 1708 a representative meeting of the gentlemen of the 
north of the county was held at Rufford, at which a strongly- 
worded petition was adopted, addressed to the Crown, com- 
plaining of "the grievous and almost intolerable burden we 
labour under by reason of the numerous increase of the red 
deer in the forest of Sherwood these late years." They com- 
plained that so many of the woods had been granted or given 
away by the queen's predecessors that there was but little 
harbour left for the deer in the forest, and the deer in conse- 
quence were distributed all over the county, eating up the corn 
and grass ; that their tenants had often to watch all night to 
keep the deer off; that their servants were terrified by several 
new keepers made by the present deputy- warder, who "threaten 
them if so much as they do set a little dog at the deer though 
in the corn"; that not only had they to watch their cornfields, 
where the deer often lay nine or ten brace together, but they 
so destroy private woods as to injure them to the extent of 
from 10 to 50 a year. 

At the same time another petition was addressed to the 
House of Commons with about 400 signatures, wherein it was 
stated that the number of red deer in the forest, "till very 
lately, had seldom or never exceeded three hundred, which was 
as great a number, considering the barreness of the soil and 
the great destruction of the woods, as the forest could main- 
tain." In the light of other evidence this estimate, used for the 


sake of strengthening the petitioners' arguments, was probably 
much below the mark. The petitioners proceeded to state that 
these deer now numbered more than 900 ; that they roamed 
over the whole country to find sustenance, but more particularly 
that these depredations were chiefly carried on in "the division 
called Hatfield and the whole district of the Clay ; and that 
these parts of the county were outside the forest limits accord- 
ing to the perambulation and inquisition of Edward I." The 
petitioners were not well advised as to the bounds, and had 
apparently confused the perambulation of Henry III. with that 
of Edward I. This petition met with no favour, for it was 
argued, though incorrectly, that the owners had never before 
been asked to stint the number of deer, and that it was a 
request to Parliament to take away the queen's liberty and 
right without her consent. On a copy of this petition still 
extant is endorsed : 

" Tis no doubt but that if there were no more than fifty deer in the 
whole forest, and if it should happen that they were on any one 
particular man's two or three acres of corn or turnips, they would be 
sure to lessen his crop; yet he bought the land with the incumbrance, 
and it is past all dispute that the queen has as much right to it as any 
man has to his own coat." 

At this period the forest was no source of profit to the 
Crown, but the contrary. 1,000 a year was granted during 
Anne's reign to maintain the deer and the new park at Clum- 
ber, and to hunt with two huntsmen, forty couple of hounds, 
eleven horses, and four grooms; there were four "forest 
keepers" at 25 each, and four "deputy purlieu rangers" at 
10 each ; the winter hay for the deer averaged 100 a year. 

But from 1683 the area of the forest was being constantly 
curtailed ; in that year 1,270 acres, out of the hays of Bilhagh 
and the White Lodge, were sold to the Duke of Kingston to 
* be enclosed within his park of Thoresby. At the beginning of 
the next century about 3,000 acres of the previous open forest 
were impaled to protect the deer, under the auspices of the 
Duke of Newcastle, who was then keeper ; this was called the 
New Park, and is now known as Clumber Park. Between 
1789 and 1796 inclusive, Acts were passed for the enclosure 
of Arnold Forest, Basford Forest, Sutton in Ashfield, Kirby 


in Ashfield, and Lenton and Radford, whereby 8,248 acres 
were brought into cultivation. 

When Major Rooke published his interesting Sketch of the 
Ancient and Present State of Sherwood Forest, in 1799, the part 
of the forest that still remained to the Crown were the hays of 
Birkland and Bilhagh, which had a total extent of 1,487 acres. 

At that time the ministers of this much restricted forest 
were the Duke of Portland, lord warden by letters patent ; 
four verderers, Sir F. Molineux, Bart., John Litchfield, E. T. 
Gould, and W. Sherbrook, Esquires, elected by the free- 
holders for life ; and John Gladwin, Esq., steward, appointed 
by the lord chief justice in eyre during pleasure. The office 
of bow-bearer had been vacant since the death of Lord Byron. 
There were also nine keepers appointed by the verderers 
during pleasure, with an annual salary of 2os. each, and two 
annually sworn woodwards for Sutton and Carlton. Each of 
the verderers received a fee-tree annually out of the king's hays 
of Birkland and Bilhagh. 

Major Rooke when writing of the many venerable old oaks 
of extraordinary size then standing, several of them measuring 
34 feet in circumference, and with tops and lateral branches 
rich in foliage, though hollow in their trunks tells of the 
remarkable extent of the woodland as late as the beginning 
of the eighteenth century : 

''The Revd. Dr. Wylde, Prebend of Southwell and rector of 
St. Nicholas in Nottingham, assured me he had often heard his 
father, William Wylde, Esq., of Nettleworth, who died in the year 
1780, in the 83rd year of his age, say, that he well remembered one 
continued wood from Mansfield to Nottingham." 

Major Rooke, in the same pamphlet, gives a remarkable 
account, with plates, of the curious discovery of ancient tree 
marks or brands that were found cut and stamped in the 
bodies of certain trees recently felled in Birkland and Bilhagh, 
and which denote the reigning king. 

"No. i has hollow or indented letters I and R for James Rex. 
No. 2 has the same letters in relief, which filled up the interstices of 
the letters in No. i before the piece was split. It is remarkable that 
when the bark has been stript off for cutting letters, the wood which 
grows over the wound never adheres to that part, but separates of 



itself when the wood is cut in that direction. The piece No. 3 has the 
letters W. M., with a crown for King William and Queen Mary. 
No. 4 has the letter I, with an imperfect impression of a blunt 
radiated crown, resembling" those represented in old prints on the 
head of King John ; another piece, cut out of an oak some years ago, 
had the same kind of crown with I. O. and R. for John Rex. The 
piece of oak No. i, with the letters I. and R., was about one foot 
within the tree and one foot from the centre ; it was cut down in the 
year 1786. That with W. M. and a crown was about nine inches 
within the tree and three inches from the centre ; cut down in 1786. 

) C Wi.ll 


The piece marked I, for John, was eighteen inches within the tree 
and above a foot from the centre ; cut down in 1791." 

In 1834, Earl Manver's woodman felled an oak near Ollerton 
Corner, wherein the initials C. R. were found impressed upon 
the wood, 15 inches from the surface. It is impossible not to 
feel sceptical as to the tree branding of the time of King 
John. The question was discussed, in 1813, in the Beauties 
of England and Wales (vol. xii., part 2, pp. 62-3). There are 
interesting references to the subject of the permanence of 
brands cut on the actual wood of growing trees in Notes and 
Queries (iv. Series, vols. ix. and x.). 

Though the glories of Sherwood as a royal open forest have 
long ago passed away, the noble private parks of Clumber, 


Thoresby, Welbeck, Ruffbrd, and Bestwood occupy some of 
its choicest portions. They not only include much of the ancient 
timber, but they are well stocked with red and fallow deer, 
which are in some instances the undoubted descendants of 
those that used to roam at will through the forest glades in 
mediaeval days. 

A book might readily be written on special historic trees 
still standing within the bounds of old Sherwood Forest, 
particularly on the stretches of old forest at Birkland and 
Bilhaugh, and on the less known noble groups of ancient 
oaks at Haywood (Plate xxi.), near Blidworth. It is only 
possible, however, to offer a brief paragraph on that Methusaleh 
of the forest, the Greendale oak, a picture of which, as it 
appeared at the end of the eighteenth century, is given as 
a frontispiece. In Evelyn's days this famous Welbeck oak 
was 33 feet in circumference at the bottom, and the breadth 
of the boughs 88 feet. The circumference in 1776 and in 
1790 was variously stated at 36 and 35 feet. Having be- 
come hollowed through age, the great gap through the centre 
was enlarged in 1724 by cutting away the decayed wood to 
such a height and width that a carriage and six, with cocked- 
hatted coachman on the box, drove through the tree with the 
bride of the noble owner. Three horsemen riding abreast 
were able to pass through, a feat often accomplished. In 
1727 a series of fine folio plates of this tree, including the 
passage of the six-horsed coach, were etched on copper by 
George Vertue, forming a most rare volume. From the wood 
cut out of the opening for the foolish freak of 1724, a beautiful 
inlaid cabinet of considerable size was made, which is con- 
sidered one of the treasures of Welbeck Abbey. The Green- 
dale oak still survives, but only in the form of a shattered 
propped-up wreck. 


; 2 





ONE of the earliest references to a technical forest in Salop 
is of the year 1204, when King John issued his charter 
to certify that he " had altogether disafforested his forest 
of Brewood in all respects partaining to a forest or foresters ; 
wherefore the said forest and the men who dwelt therein and 
their heirs were to be disafforested for ever, and quit of the 
king and his heirs in all those same respects." This district 
and forest of Brewood was partly in Shropshire and partly 
in Staffordshire. Notwithstanding, however, the particularly 
precise terms of the charter of 1204, the inhabitants of 
Brewood were by no means quit of their fickle and lawless 
king, for at the forest pleas of 1209, cited by Eyton, the 
knights and men of Salop and Stafford living in Brewood 
gave the king 100 marks to be for ever disafforested, so 
that they of Salop who had hunted or taken beasts in the 
Salop park of Brewood might bear their share with those of 
Stafford. From this latter date Brewood seems to have 
genuinely ceased to be under forest jurisdiction. 

But there are other more interesting records in the time 
of John as to Salop forests. The chief forest district of this 
jtime was that long known as Morf Forest. It took its name 
from the Staffordshire village of Morf, where the break 
began between that forest and the forest of Kinver. Its 
northern boundary, afterwards maintained, was determined by 
the river Worf (passing through Worfield) for several miles 
before it falls into the Severn a little above Bridgnorth, 
and from there it stretched south to its name-village. For 



about the first two centuries of the Norman occupation it was 
at least eight miles in length and about six in breadth, but it 
became curtailed by the forest charter of Henry III., and still 
more so in the days of Edward L, and was wholly in the 
county of Salop. The bounds are ably dealt with in Eyton's 

Pleas of the forest were held at Shrewsbury on March i4th, 
1209, before Hugh Neville and Peter de Lion. A very 
curious case was brought before the justices. A certain 
hart entered the bailey of the castle of Bridgnorth through 
the postern gate ; the guards took it and carried it into the 
castle. When the forest verderers heard the news, they 
demanded of Thomas de Erdinton, the sheriff, what had 
been done with the hart. He acknowledged the offence, and 
promised that his men should come before the justices, and 
the town of Bridgnorth was attached for the offence. Thomas 
de Erdinton was sheriff of both Salop and Staffordshire 
through most of John's reign, and a royal favourite ; the 
calling of him to account for such a matter as this by the local 
verderers is a proof of the stringency of the forest laws at 
that date. 

Another interesting case at this eyre is set forth in the 
translation given by Mr. Turner, involving the seeking 
sanctuary in a church. 

"Richard of Holton, Wilkin of Eastlegh, Hulle of Hinton, 
and Hulle Roebuck, the Serjeants of the county, found venison 
in the house of Hugh le Scot. And Hugh fled to the church ; 
and when the foresters and verderers came thither, they 
demanded of Hugh whence that venison came. And he 
and a certain other person, Roger of Wellington by name, 
acknowledged that they had killed a hind from which that 
venison came. And he refused to leave the church, but 
lingered there for a month ; and afterwards escaped in the 
guise of a woman. And he is a fugitive ; and Roger of 
Wellington likewise. It is ordered that they be exacted, and 
unless they come let them be outlawed." 

The sheriff of Salop was ordered, in 1274, to see that all 
the venison taken for the king's use in the forest of that 
county was forwarded without delay to Westminster, to be 
there delivered to the keeper of the king's larder. 


In the following . year John Fitzhugh, the keeper of the 
forest, was instructed to permit Roger de Mortimer or his 
men to take three harts for the king's use. In 1277 the same 
keeper was instructed to permit the Bishop of St. Asaph to 
take all the wood he required for fuel for that year from the 
wood of the Wrekin, as the king's gift. 

In 1284 the king issued his mandate to the justices and other 
forest ministers not to molest the Bishop of Bath and Wells, 
as he had the royal licence to take timber in the king's 
demesne lands, hays, and woods within the bounds of the 
forest of Salop, for the construction of a manor house at Acton 
Burnell, his native place. Two years later a still wider and 
exceptional licence was granted to Robert the bishop and to 
Hugh Burnell, his brother, in consideration of the great 
services the bishop had rendered the king from his earliest 
years, to fell and take away to his manor great and small 
timber, without livery, view, or other impediment in the woods 
of Candover, Wolstanton, Frodsley, Hope Bowdler, Corston, 
and Rushbury, within the forest bounds. 

Space does not suffice to treat further of the forest of Morf, 
or, as it was sometimes called, the forest of Bridgnorth, but in 
connection with this county, rather than Worcestershire, brief 
attention must be given to Bewdley forest, which, under its 
more ancient style of Wyre forest, was so vast a district that 
it gave its name to a whole county ; for Wyre-ceastre, or 
Worcester, was a Roman station in this forest. When the 
days of Norman forestry arrived, the primeval state of this 
great woodland district had materially changed. Wyre forest 
at that period no longer extended in an unbroken sweep along 
the Severn to Worcester; but though a portion of its southern 
extremity was in Worcestershire, by far the larger part of it 
occupied the south of Shropshire. Eyton gives good reasons 
for supposing that the Shropshire part of Wyre forest, per- 
taining to the great manors of Cleobury and Kinlet, belonged 
to the Crown in Saxon days, but that subsequently it went to 
William Fitz-Osborn, Earl of Hereford, and then to Ralph 
Mortimer. The forest rule that the Mortimers endeavoured 
to maintain, together with the persistence in the use of the 
term " forest" rather than the chace, point strongly to its being 
originally under sovereign rule. The best summary of the 


story of Wyre forest is to be found in Eyton's Shropshire 
(iv., 276-9), where he tells us that at the time when Prince 
Edward was embarking for Palestine, in 1270, this forest was 
fenced for miles to prevent any depredation of the deer in the 
adjacent cultivated districts. But Roger de Mortimer took 
occasion of his powerful position to enlarge his rights as 
though royal, and to level no less than two leagues of this 
fence, so as to give free transit to the deer to the great havoc 
of the country. Moreover, Mortimer arrogated to himself a 
right of free chace, not only in Wyre forest, but in the manor 
of his tenants at Kinlet and Baveney, and even in those of the 
king's tenants of Stottesden and Bardley, as set forth by the 
jurors of Stottesden in the Hundred Rolls of 1274. 

The forest of Clee, somewhat further to the north in this 
county, also bears witness, by the general maintenance of that 
name rather than Clee chase, to its former royal rights. The 
attempts of the Cliffords to re-establish therein quasi-royal 
forest jurisdiction are also dealt with by Mr. Eyton (v., 196-202). 


In early days there was probably no part of England more 
generally covered with woodland than the district afterwards 
known as Worcestershire. In the Norman time there were 
five forest districts within the shire : Wyre, Feckenham, 
Ombersley, Horewell, and Malvern. 

Of Wyre forest mention has just been made under Shrop- 
shire. The Crown maintained certain forest rights over the 
Worcestershire or Bewdley part of this ancient forest as late 
as the time of Elizabeth, as shown by certificates at the Public 
Record Office : " Two'of her majesty's regarders or presserva- 
tors of woods in Bewdley Park and Forest of Wyre" received 
a warrant in 1587 from the Lord President of Marches for 
felling 200 loads of firewood for use at Her Majesty's house 
called "Tycknell" ; and six timber trees were to be supplied 
for the repair of the west chamber there, called Yew Lodging, 
and another one for repairs to the stable. Henry Blount, of 
Bewdley, gentleman, was keeper of Bewdley park, and 
claimed all the lop and top of these seven timber trees as his 
fee. The two regarders, or rather woodwards, reported that 


a hollow timber tree had been set on fire in the park, and that 
they appealed to Blount to save it ; he told them to fell it, 
which they did, intending it for the lord president, but Blount 
seized it. They also reported that no person was allowed to 
take out any dead tree, windfall, rootfall, or stub, " unless the 
same be first by us vewed and prised and sealed with our 
sealinge axe." 

Ombersley forest began at the north gate of Worcester and 
extended along the banks of the Severn ; it had originally 
been part of the great forest of Wyre. 

Horewell forest began at the south gate, and extended 
along the eastern road to Spetchley and across the Avon. 
Both Horewell and Ombersley ceased to be forest districts 
under the Forest Charter of Henry III. 

Malvern forest, or rather chase, extended from the river 
Teme in the north towards Gloucestershire in the south, and 
from the Severn to the top of the Malvern Hills. In Nash's 
Worcestershire (i., Ixxiv., etc.) there is some interesting in- 
formation as to the considerable rights pertaining to the lord 
of the free chase of Malvern, which are discussed by Mr. 
Turner in his Forest Pleas (cix.-cxiii.), and clearly point to 
the district having once been royal forest. For instance, the 
dogs of this extensive chase were lawed twice in seven years. 
This lawing, locally termed "hombling," differed somewhat 
from the method prescribed in true forests by the Forest 
Charter. All dogs that could not or would not be drawn 
through a strap of eighteen inches and a barley-corn in length 
had the further joints of the two middle claws cut away, for 
which operation the owner was amerced in the sum of 3^. \d. 

Leland, temp. Henry VIII., says: "The Chase of Malvern 
is biggar than Wire or Feckingham, and occupieth a great 
part of Malverne Hills. Great Malverne and Little Malverne 
also is set in the Chase of Malverne. Malverne Chase (as I 
hear say) is in length in some places twenty miles." It was 
granted by Edward I. to Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, 
on his marriage with Jean d'Acres, the king's daughter. 
From that date it ceased to be under true forest law, being in 
the hands of a subject ; but down to the reign of Charles I. 
there were verderers, foresters, and other ministers of the 


The best account of Malvern Chase is that which appeared 
in volume v. of \he Journal of Forestry, by Mr. Edwin Lees. 

Feckenham forest, on the east of the county, was of con- 
siderable extent. A perambulation of Edward I. shows that it 
began at the Foregate, Worcester, passed to Beverburn by 
Stowe to Bordesley, round by Evesham to Spetchley, and so 
to Sidbury. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it was not 
infrequently termed the forest of Worcester. The following 
are some of the references to this forest in the Patent and Close 
Rolls of Edward I. : 

Pardon was granted in 1290 to the Bishop of Worcester, 
John Gifford, Richard Archer, and Hugh de Aston, for a fine 
of 500 marks made by the bishop for himself and the others, 
for venison and vert trespasses in Feckenham forest. A pardon 
was about the same time granted to the prioress of Westwood 
for like trespasses. In this year grant was made to Eleanor 
the king's consort, who held the forest by Edward's grant, to 
hold pleas of vert and other trespasses through her stewards 
and bailiffs every six weeks, and to take fines due for the same 
to her own use, save pleas of venison and those which 
belonged to the regard and agistment of the forest ; also all 
attachments of indicted persons and venison trespassers, pro- 
vided that all persons indicted of venison were imprisoned at 
Feckenham, and then bailed against the next eyre of the 
justices. In the same year Walter de Aylesbury was pardoned 
all venison trespasses up-to-date, on condition of surrender- 
ing his bailiwick in Feckenham forest. A special commission 
had been appointed to inquire into the venison and vert 
trespasses said to have been committed both by foresters 
and other ministers, and this resignation was one of the 

Edward II., in 1293, granted for life to James Beauchamp 
liberty of hunting with his own dogs, in all the foreign woods 
and groves without the great covert of the forest of Feckenham, 
the hare, fox, badger, and wildcat whenever he will, save in 
the fence month ; provided that he took none of the king's 
deer, and did not hunt in the warrens. 

Licence was granted in 1294, after inquisition, by John de 
Selvestrode, keeper of this forest, to Grimbald Pauncefot, who 
was going to Gascony on the king's service, to sell wood to 


the value of 100 marks out of such parts of his wood of Bent- 
ley, at the least damage to the forest. 

When a perambulation was taken of Feckenham forest in 
1300, it was stated there was no forester-of-fee, and no verderer 
for that part which was within the county of Warwick. 

The king made a considerable sojourn at Feckenham in 
April, 1301 ; during that visit he granted a pardon to William 
de Stapelhurst for taking a buck in this forest, and carrying it 

Feckenham was finally disafforested in 1629. 


Early references to the forest of Warwickshire seem to apply 
to that small part of the Feckenham forest (Worcester- 
shire), which extended into the south-west border of the former 
county, lying between the river Arrow and the boundary of 
the two shires, and which was added to Feckenham in the 
reign of John. The perambulation of 1300 states that there 
was no forester nor verderer pertaining to the county, and 
that at the date of the coronation of Henry II. there was no 
forest anywhere in Warwickshire. 

The great woodland district of the Forest of Arden is so 
closely associated with the north-west of Warwickshire that 
unless the technical meaning of forest is borne in mind, the 
assertion of the jurors, in the time of Edward I., as to its 
absence would seem remarkably strange. 


When special forest inquisitions were being held in 1219 
and again in 1224, particular instructions were issued with 
reference to a detailed regard, and mandates were directed to 
the sheriff and others of Herefordshire with reference to the 
forest of Hereford. Probably all that was meant by that term 
was the south-east portion of the county that was included 
within the bounds and purlieus of Dean forest, Gloucester- 
shire. A large portion of the hundred of Greytree had been 
made forest under Henry II. and John, but this was duly 
disafforested by the Forest Charter of Henry III. An entry 


in the register of Bishop Swinfield shows that when the bishop 
was at Ross, on a visitation tour, in 1206, his huntsmen killed 
a young stag in his chase of Penyard, but a dispute arose 
between the bishop's servants and the king's foresters of 
Dean, whether the place where the stag was caught was not 
within the forest. An inquest was held at Howl Hill, when 
the jury declared that it was lawfully caught within the epis- 
copal chase. 


CHARNWOOD FOREST, a hilly district to the north- 
west of Leicester, about ten miles in length and six in 
breadth, of much natural beauty, at once occurs to 
everyone, who knows anything of the Midlands, as the most 
attractive part of Leicestershire. But so far as forests techni- 
cally termed are concerned that is, districts subject to 
forest laws Charnwood has little claim to our attention. 
Although it so long remained a rough, open tract, there is 
no reference to it among the extant forest pleas. From what 
is told us in Nichols' county history of Leicester a wonderful 
work for the time (1799) in which it was produced and by the 
more elaborate accounts given in Potter's Charmvood Forest 
(1842), it is clear that this district was never in Norman days in 
royal hands for the purposes of the chase ; but its privileges 
were granted to the Earls of Chester and Leicester and Win- 
chester, etc., and their successors, and to the various religious 
houses, within its bounds, such as Ulverscroft, Garendon, 
and Gracedieu. 

On three manors of Charnwood Forest, namely, Whitwick, 
Groby, and Sheepshed, swainmote courts were regularly sum- 
moned until the beginning of the seventeenth century, a 
survival of pre-Norman jurisdiction ; they continued to be 
somewhat fitfully held by the owners of these lordships until 
about a century ago. The fact of swainmote courts being 
found at Charnwood and a few other places in England, which 
were not royal forests in historic times, may be taken as a 
proof that such districts were royal hunting-grounds in Saxon 

The document cited by Burton in his Description of Leices- 



tershire (1777), with respect to the disafforesting of Leicester 
forest in 29 Henry III., has no reference whatever to Charn- 
wood as there asserted. 

Mr. Monk, in his Agricultural Report for Leicestershire of 
1794, stated that Charnwood forest, containing from 15,000 
to 16,000 acres, would prove to be useful and valuable land 
if enclosed over three-fourths of its area. After much opposi- 
tion from commoners an Act of Inclosure was passed in 1808, 
and the final account of claim was signed in 1812. 

The forest or wood adjoining the town of Leicester, although 
it eventually came to the Crown, was never a royal forest, as 
it had no forest courts of any kind. It is named in the Domes- 
day Survey of the borough, wherein it is stated that Hereswood 
was four miles (leuca) long by one in breadth. This great 
wood belonged to the Earls of Leicester, who readily granted 
special privileges therein to the burgesses. These rights are 
of particular interest, and are fully illustrated in the old 
borough records which have been recently ably edited by 
Miss Bateson. This great wood or forest was disafforested in 
1628, and the deer killed or given away ; but as it was an 
earl's forest and not the king's, its history must be here 
passed by. 

The only true forest subject, that is, to forest laws in the 
county of Leicester, was a not inconsiderable section of the 
eastern portion of the shire that adjoined to Rutland ; and as 
Oakham was the centre and usual justice seat of this forest, 
the larger part of which was in the smaller county, it some- 
times all went by the name of the forest of Rutland, and at 
other times as Rutland and Leicester. 

The pleas of venison held at Oakham, in March, 1209, were 
attended by regarders both of Leicester and Rutland. The 
knights of Rutland gave a verdict to the effect that at the 
summons of the justices of the forest, all men of Leicestershire 
ought to come to the pleas who dwell outside the forest as far 
as two leagues. Several cases were heard at this eyre which 
pertained to Leicestershire. The entrails and antler of a hart 
were found under the mill of Robert, the son of Adam of Skeffi- 
ington. The antler was fractured as though done with an axe. 
The miller declared he knew nothing about it, but he was 
taken into custody until inquiries could be made, and the mill 


was taken into the king's hands, because it was so far away 
from the town and so near to the covert of the forest. 

The township of Knossington was in mercy because they 
did not produce those whom they had pledged, namely, 
Richard and William, who had been found with bows and 
arrows on the road that led to Rockingham. 

The two Leicestershire verderers, Robert Langton and 
Robert Sampson, were declared in mercy because their 
statements contradicted the entries on their rolls. 

So far as Rutland was concerned, at the same eyre, their 
two verderers were in mercy because " they did not that which 
they ought," and two foresters and four verderers were in like 
plight for a similar vaguely expressed cause. The town of 
Oakham was at mercy for not producing Robert, a servant 
of the Earl of Hereford, for whose appearance they were 
pledged. The sheriff of Rutland was also liable because he 
had not the prisoners who had been delivered to him by the 
foresters to guard. 

A special inquisition of the forest of Leicester and Rutland 
was held at Oakham in 1219. After the great storm of 1222, 
separate letters were addressed to the foresters and verderers 
of both Leicester and Rutland as to the disposal of the wind- 
fall. Hasculf de Hathelakestan was at that time keeper 
or warden of this joint forest. The sheriffs of both counties 
were warned in 1224 to see that a regard was taken of this 
forest. A yet more important and detailed regard was ordered 
in 1229. 

Forest pleas were held at Oakham in 1256, and again in 
June, 1269, f r tne forest of Rutland, but the proceedings 
show that the term included the Leicestershire division. The 
principal business that came before the justices on the latter 
date were the serious charges of extortion and damage made 
against Peter de Neville, the chief forester, and the foresters 
and other ministers under him. The verderers, regarders, 
and other knights and good men of the two counties, testified 
on oath that since the last eyre which was held thirteen years 
before, namely, in 1256 Peter de Neville had continually 
appropriated to himself nuts, mast, and windfall, together 
with thorn, hazel, and such-like small vert, and kept dogs and 
greyhounds on the unlawful pleas of taking hares, foxes, 


rabbits, and wild cats ; that he had appropriated escape of 
beasts, and received fines for hare and rabbit poaching that 
ought to have gone to the king ; that he had imprisoned men 
and bound them with iron chains for trifling forest trespasses, 
and had released them on payment of fines ; that he had taken 
twenty-four marks from Richard of Whitchurch for taking 
a buck without a warrant, and IOQS. from Henry Murdoch for 
his mastiffs that were found following his ploughman to Deep- 
dale within the forest ; that he amerced various townships for 
offences at his will ; that every year, save the year between the 
battles of Lewes and Evesham, he had his piggery and pigs, 
sometimes to the number of 300, digging in the forest en- 
closure to the great injury of the pasturage of the king's deer; 
that he had appointed a forester for the last three years to 
guard the road between Stamford bridge and Casterton, on 
the outlying part of the forest on the east side, to take chemin- 
age for his own use, charging 4^. on every cart carrying wood 
or timber from the county of Lincoln to Stamford, an entirely 
novel charge ; that he made a gaol of his own at Allexton 
(just over the borders in Leicestershire), full of water at the 
bottom, and there imprisoned unlawfully many men of his 
bailiwick in the county of Rutland, whereas they ought to be 
taken to the castle of Oakham. Almost every one of these 
and other charges were considered proved by the justices, 
the clauses on the rolls where they are stated ending for 
the most part with "therefore to judgement with him" (ideo 
ad judicium de eo}. 

Another charge against Peter de Neville was that he had 
increased the number of foresters, and put pages under them, 
to the overburdening of the district. It was proved that five 
walking foresters, to wit, two for Beaumont bailiwick, two for 
Braunston bailiwick, and one in the park of Ridlington, 
together with one riding forester with a page, was the full 
ancient complement of such officials for the Rutland and 
Leicester forest ; the justices made order that this number was 
not to be increased. 

The whole of this elaborate accusation against the forest 
keeper is set forth at length in Turner's Forest Pleas (pp. 43-53), 
together with the following recital of the forest bounds (1269) 
taken at the same eyre : 


"The perambulation of the forest of Rutland begins from that 
place where the old course of the Little Eye flows into the Welland 
opposite Cotton ; and from thence along the course of the water of 
the Welland up to the boundary between the counties of Lincoln and 
Rutland ; by metes and bounds as far as Stumpsden ; and from 
thence by metes and bounds as far as Great Casterton bridge ; and 
from that bridge along the course of the water of the Gwash as far 
as Empingham bridge ; and from that bridge along the course of the 
water as far as Stanbridge ; and from Stanbridge through the middle 
of the park of Barnsdale as far as Twiford ; and from Twiford along 
the course of the water through the middle of the town of Langham; 
and from thence as far as the park of Overton, and from thence 
between Flitteris and the wood of Knossington as far as the water of 
the Gwash, and from thence along the boundaries between the open 
field of Braunston and Knossington as far as the Wisp ; and from 
thence along the boundaries between the field of Owston and With- 
cote as far as the door of the castle of Sauvey, and from thence by 
the rivulet which runs down from Sauvey as [far as Harewin's mill ; 
and from thence to Coptre, and from Coptre as far as the boundaries 
of Finchford ; and from thence by the old course of the Little Eye 
into the Welland opposite Cotton." 

Space cannot be afforded for following up the story of this 
forest in detail, but mention must be made of another eyre 
held more than two centuries subsequent to the one first 
recorded. By that time this forest of Rutland and Leicester 
was usually known as Leighfield Forest, and the justice seat 
was at Uppingham. On September loth, 1490, pleas of the 
forest were held at that town by Sir John Ratcliffe and Sir 
Reginald Gray. Sir Edward Hastings appeared as keeper, 
Thomas Sapcote as lieutenant, Robert Rokeby as ranger, and 
Christopher Parker as bow-bearer. There were also present the 
two foresters of each of the bailiwicks of Braunston and Beau- 
mont, and the one forester of Ridlington park, together with 
two verderers. The five woodwards who appeared repre- 
sented respectively the- prior of Brook, the Bishop of Lincoln 
in Stokehern, the Earl of Warwick in Le Haw, Everard 
Digby in Stokehern, and Robert Mawes in Wardley wood. 
There were also present fourteen regarders, eleven free tenants, 
a jury-panel of the king, juries of the hundreds of Martinsley 
(Rutland) and Goscote (Leicestershire), and of Oakham Soke, 


together with the reeve and four men from each of the 
townships of Ayston, Belton, Braunston, Brooke, Caldon, 
Lyddington, Ridlington, Stokeley, Uppingham, and Ward- 
ley. It therefore follows that the actual number of local 
officials of this comparatively small forest in attendance on the 
justices exceeded 250. 

The claimants of liberties were the Bishop of Lincoln, the 
abbot of Kenilworth, Sir Edward Hastings, Everard Digby, 
Maurice Berkeley, John Cheselden, and Robert Mawes. The 
Bishop of Lincoln, through William his attorney, stated his 
considerable claims of hunting and agistment within the forest, 
more particularly with regard to the park of Lyddington and 
its deer-leaps. 

Among the presentments it was stated that Thomas Parker, 
parker of Redlington, and Robert Rokeby, the sub-parker, had 
felled three lime trees (Le lynerey trees] worth 6s. 8d. each. 
They had also killed, since the last eyre, eight deer when 
training their dogs (pro canibus suis ad arcum castigancT). 

The master forester or keeper had distributed eight bucks 
and ten does among the gentlemen of the district ; eight 
bucks and twenty-four raskells had died of murrain. 


THE wealth of unused material in connection with all the 
forests of Northamptonshire, particularly with regard to 
Rockingham, is so great that it becomes exceedingly 
embarrassing to know what is the best method to adopt in 
giving a mere outline sketch of the more salient and interest- 
ing features of their history. It is much to be hoped that some 
capable pen may before long be found to write a monograph 
on the forests of this shire. Such a history, if thoroughly 
written, would prove more interesting and valuable than that 
of any other county, not excluding Hampshire or Essex. 

The most important and valuable portion of Mr. Turner's 
scholarly work on Select Pleas of the Forest (Selden Society), 
is concerned with this county. There is also a good deal that 
is of genuine value regarding Rockingham forest in Bridge's 
history of the county, and in Baker's later work with regard to 
Whittlewood forest ; nor must Mr. Wise's Rockingham Castle 
and the Watsons (1891) be omitted from mention ; but practically 
their story is as yet unwritten. 

The frequent presence of the Norman kings at their castles 
of Rockingham and Northampton was one of the chief causes 
for the appropriation of such large tracts of this county for 
royal forest sport. Apart from parks of early formation, the 
largest and chief forest tracts were (i) Rockingham forest in 
the north, which was mainly in the Corby and Willowbrook 
hundreds ; (2) Whittlebury forest in the south-east, in the 
Cleley, Norton, and Towcester hundreds ; and (3) Salcey 
forest, nearer the centre of the county, in the Cleley and 
Wimersley hundreds. The whole of the Nassaburgh hundred, 
north of Rockingham, was under forest laws in the early 
Norman days, but it was disforested in the time of John. 



As the Conqueror built Rockingham castle, it is practically 
certain that, at the same time, he afforested the district around, 
and probably included within its then vast bounds the whole 
of the Nassaburgh hundred. 

(See p. 65.) 

The earliest known record of forest pleas, which is among 
the "Treasury of Receipt Forest Proceedings" of the Public 
Record Office, pertains to this county, and has been given in 
extenso by Mr. Turner; it relates to the pleas held at Northamp- 
ton on 2Oth February, 1209. The proceedings are full of in- 
terest. The following are some examples of the cases brought 


before the justices. Roger Grim, the harvestman (messartus, 
i.e. the foreman of the harvest labourers) of the abbot of 
Peterborough, was caught following four hinds with his dogs ; 
he was delivered to the custody of Geoffrey Gilbewin, the 
abbot's steward. Geoffrey failed to bring him before the 
justices, whereupon the steward himself was delivered to the 
custody of the sheriff to be imprisoned. William of Barton 
was proved to have falsely and through hatred charged 
Stephen de Pin, a clerk, with having feasted upon two fawns ; 
the sheriff was ordered to imprison him until levy had been 
made for a fine upon his chattels at Barnact. The whole 
township of Newton was in mercy because of the flight of 
Richard Gelet, their harvestman, accused of shooting a doe 
in Nassington wood, for which Henry, the son of Benselin, 
was taken. The foresters found a doe with its throat cut in 
Nassington wood, and Henry concealed in a bush near by. 
They put him in prison, but on his appearing at the forest 
pleas, Henry stoutly denied the offence, saying he had only 
gone into the wood to seek his horse. Thereupon the justices 
inquired of the foresters and verderers whether they now 
thought him guilty. They replied in the negative, adding 
that they thought Richard the harvestman was the culprit, for 
he fled as soon as he heard of Henry being taken. Because 
Henry had taken the Cross and is not suspected and had lain 
long in prison, the justices granted him that he might make 
his pilgrimage, but he was to start before Whitsunday ; if he 
lived to return, and could find pledges for his fealty, he might 
afterwards remain in the forest. 

Thomas Inkel, forester of Cliff, found in the wood of 
Siberton a certain place wet with blood, and he traced the 
blood in the snow as far as the house of Ralph Red of 
Siberton ; and forthwith he sent for the verderers and good men. 
They searched his house, and in it they found the flesh of a 
certain doe, and they took Ralph himself and put him in 
prison at Northampton, where he died. But before his death, 
when he was in prison, he appealed Robert Sturdi of Siberton 
and Roger Tock, of the same town, because they were evil- 
doers to the forest together with him. The foresters and 
verderers searched the house of the aforesaid Robert, and in it 
found the bones of deer, and they took him and sent him to 


prison ; also in the house of Roger Tock they found ears and 
bones of deer. The latter was taken and imprisoned. Robert 
Sturdi came before the justice and said that the dogs of 
Walter of Preston used to be kennelled at his house, and that 
Walter's hunters ate the venison whence came the bones ; and 
Robert vouched the aforesaid Walter to warranty of this, 
whereupon Walter is ordered to appear on the morrow. 
Walter came and warranted him, saying that his dogs were 
kennelled in his house for fifteen days while he was hunting 
bucks. Roger Tock also appeared and denied everything ; 
and the verderers and foresters witnessed that the ears and 
bones were those of the deer which Walter's hunters had 
taken. As Roger had lain long in prison, so that he was 
nearly dead (quod fere mortuus es], the justices permitted him 
to go quit, but henceforth he was to live outside the forest. 

Rockingham forest in the time of Henry III. was divided 
into the three divisions or bailiwicks of Rockingham, Brig- 
stock, and Cliff (Kingscliff), each of which had its own 
ministers. This division lasted until the time of disafforesting. 
The keepership of the forest of Rockingham, with Cliff, 
Geddington, and Brigstock, was conferred by Henry III. on 
Hugh de Neville in June, 1219. In the following month he 
was instructed to permit Walter de Preston to hunt these 
forests, and others in the county, in order to secure forty 
bucks for the royal larder. In the following year the same 
huntsman had orders to take twenty bucks in Rockingham 
forest, and Richard de Waterville the same number for a like 
purpose. In the same year Hugh Bigod had royal permission 
to take six bucks in this forest, and others a smaller number. 
In September, 1225, the king gave leave to the Bishop of Ely 
to have ten bucks and two harts caught for him in the forests 
of Essex. But there was so much difficulty and delay in 
catching them (apparently alive for stocking purposes) 
in Essex, that the order was transferred to Rockingham. 
In December of the same year William de Cantilupe obtained 
a grant of twenty does and two bucks from this forest for 
stocking his park at Aston. The supply of venison must have 
been exceptionally good, for at the same time Martin de 
Tattishall was permitted to take ten does in Rockingham 


The Close Rolls of 1228 mention royal grants of seven does ; 
of 1229, two bucks and eight does ; and of 1231, six bucks and 
seven does. 

The orders for wood out of this forest in the time of 
Henry III. and later were very scanty in comparison with 
other royal forests, and hardly ever included grants to out- 
siders ; this seems to be a proof that well-grown timber was a 
rarity. In December, 1224, Walter the Miller, warden of 
Rockingham bridge, received one of the forest oaks for the 
repair of the bridge. In 1226 Hugh de Neville was ordered 
by the Crown to supply Ralph de Trubleville with sufficient 
timber in a convenient place, and where it would be of least 
detriment to the forest, for the repair of a section of the royal 
preserve (vivarium} and houses at Brigstock. In the same 
year further timber was granted for the repair of the chapel 
and other parts of Rockingham castle. 

There is an important series of forest inquisitions on Rock- 
ingham rolls from 30 to 39 Henry III. From these Mr. Turner 
has taken a variety of transcripts. The following is the first 
that he cites, giving full and interesting particulars relative to 
a serious poaching affray : 

" It happened on Wednesday the morrow of the apostles Phillip and 
James, in the thirtieth year of the reign of King Henry, that when 
William of Northampton and Roger of Tingewick were on their way 
from the pleas of Stanion (within Rockingham forest) to the pleas of 
Salcey, they were given to understand that poachers were in the 
laund of Benefield with greyhounds for the purpose of doing evil to 
the venison of the lord king. And when they had reached the laund 
and were waiting there in ambush, James of Thurlbear, forester of 
the same bailiwick, and Mathew, his brother, forester in the park of 
Brigstock, came with the walking foresters on the order sent by the 
aforesaid William of Northampton. And they saw five greyhounds, 
of which one was white, another black, the third fallow, a fourth 
black covered, hunting beasts, which greyhounds the said William 
and Roger took. But the fifth greyhound, which was tawny, 
escaped. And when they returned to the forest, after taking the 
greyhounds, they lay in ambush and saw five poachers in the lord 
king's demesne of Wydehawe, one with a cross-bow and four with 
bows and arrows standing at their trees. And when the foresters 
perceived them they hailed and pursued them. And the aforesaid 


malefactors standing at their trees turned in defence and shot arrows 
at the foresters, so that they wounded Mathew, the forester of the 
park of Brigstock, with two Welsh arrows, to wit with one arrow 
under the left breast, to the depth of one hand slantwise, and with 
the second arrow in the left arm to the depth of two fingers, so that 
it was despaired of the life of the said Mathew. And the foresters 
pursued the aforesaid malefactors so vigorously that they turned and 
fled into the thickness of the wood. And the foresters on account of 
the darkness could follow them no more. And thereupon an inquisi- 
tion was made at Benefield before William of Northampton, then 
bailiff of the forest, and the foresters and verderers of the country 
on the day of the Invention of the Holy Cross, in the same year, by 
four townships neighbouring on the laund of Benefield, to wit, by 
Stoke, Carlton, Great Oakley, and Corby. 

''Stoke comes, and being sworn says that it knows nothing 
thereof except only that the foresters attacked the malefactors with 
hue and cry until the darkness of the night came, and that one of the 
foresters was wounded. And it does not know whose were the grey- 
hounds. Carlton comes, and being sworn says the same. Corby 
comes, and being sworn says the same. Great Oakley comes and, 
being sworn, says that it saw four men and one tawny greyhound 
following them, to wit, one with a crossbow and three with bows 
and arrows, and it hailed them and followed them with the foresters 
until the darkness of night came, so that on account of the dark- 
ness of night and the thickness of the wood it knew not what became 
of them." 

Pledges were taken of the four townships to appear at the 
next pleas. The arrows with which Mathew was wounded 
were delivered to Sir Robert Basset and John Lovet, the ver- 
derers, and the greyhounds were sent to Sir Robert Passelewe, 
then justice of the forest. 

Another inquisition of i3th January, 1347, is well worth 
giving in full : 

" It happened on the Sunday next after the Epiphany, in the 
thirty-first year of the reign of King Henry, that when Maurice de 
Meht, who said that he was with Sir Robert Passelewe, passed in 
the morning with two horses through the town of Sudborough, he 
saw three men carrying a sack. And when he saw them he suspected 
them, and followed them as far as the town of Sudborough with his 
bow stretched. And when the three men saw him following them, they 
threw away the sack and fled. And Maurice took the sack and 


found in it a doe, which had been flayed, and a snare, with which the 
beast was taken. And when he had done this he went to the church 
of Sudborough, and made known to the whole township what had 
happened. And when he had done this he returned again to the 
sack, and carried away the skin of the doe. And the township of 
Sudborough sent after the verderers and foresters, who came and 
found all the things, just as aforesaid. And upon this an inquisition 
was made at Sudborough on the Monday next following before the 
verderers and foresters of the county by the four neighbouring town- 
ships, to wit, Sudborough, Lowick, Brigstock, and Lyveden. 

" Sudborough comes and, being sworn, says that Ralph the son of 
Mabel of Sudborough was one of those men who fled, and he 
delivered that venison to William the son of Henry of Benefield. 
And the third was Robert of Grafton, who a short time before was 
with Agnes Cornet, and he fled and is not yet found. But the said 
Agnes Cornet pledges on her behalf of the said Robert of his being 
before the justices of the forest, to wit, Hugh the son of Roger, 
and Peter the son of Roger. And the aforesaid Ralph the son of 
Mabel, and William the son of Henry, were taken and sent to 
Northampton to be imprisoned ; and they were delivered to Sir Alan 
of Maidwell, then the sheriff of Northampton. 

"The flesh of the doe was given to the lepers of Thrapston. And 
the snare with which the said doe was taken was delivered to Robert 
the son of Luke of Lyveden, and Ralph the son of Quenyl of the 
same town, to keep until the coming of the justices of the forest. 

"The township of Sudborough finds pledges of being before the 
justices of the forest, because it allowed Maurice de Meht to carry 
away the skin of the doe. The chattels of Ralph the son of Mabel 
were taken into the hand of the lord king, and appraised by the ver- 
derers and foresters at nine shillings, and they were delivered in bail 
to Thomas of Grafton, who dwells in Sudborough. Robert of Graf- 
ton, the fugitive, and William the son of Henry had no chattels. 
Maurice de Meht was not taken because he said that he was with Sir 
Robert Passelewe, then justice of the forest." 

On the same rolls were entries of the Rockingham venison 
given by the lord king. In 1247 these royal gifts included two 
bucks for Nicholas de Criel, ten bucks for the Countess of 
Leicester, two bucks for Sir Geoffrey Langley, one buck for 
Robert de Mares, and ten bucks for Aymar de Lusignan. In 
the following year Richard Earl of Cornwall, who held a 
general hunting warrant, took deer in the park and without it 


about I5th August, and the same in the following month, on 
his return from the north. About August, Sir Simon de 
Montfort had twelve bucks out of Rockingham bailiwick of 
the king's gift, and at Michaelmas the Bishop of Carlisle had 
a present of three bucks. In 1248-9 Henry III. hunted in 
person at two different seasons, namely, about the Feast of St. 
Katherine (25th November) and about the Feast of St. Peter's 
Chains (ist August), taking deer at his pleasure. Among the 
royal gifts of 1249 were five live bucks and ten live does 
for the Earl of Derby, and eight does for the abbot of West- 

When an archbishop, bishop, earl, or baron passed through 
a royal forest, he was entitled, under the Forest Charter of 
1217, to take one or two heads of game, but only in the sight 
of the forester, and not furtively. Among those who availed 
themselves of this privilege about this period were the Bishop of 
Lincoln, a hind and a doe, in 1245 ; the abbot of Westminster, 
a buck and a buck's prickett, in 1246; Henry, the son of the 
Earl of Leicester, a buck's pricket ; the Count d'Aumale a 
doe, and the Bishop of Carlisle a buck in 1247. 

The pleas of the forest were held on 25th June, 1255, at 
Rockingham, before William le Breton, Nicholas de Romsey, 
and two other justices in eyre. Ten years had elapsed since 
the last eyre, and several cases brought before justices were 
about ten years old. About thirty-five cases of venison 
trespass were presented and proved. Among the offenders 
was Simon the parson of Old, who took a roe in 1249. He 
did not appear, and order was sent to the Bishop of Lincoln 
to cause him to attend. Before the court rose he was fined in 
the heavy sum of $. 

In June, 1254, a deer was taken beneath Rockingham castle 
wall by the men of the parson of Easton. The foresters lay 
in ambush through the night, and at daybreak they saw three 
men and three greyhounds, of whom they took one man and 
two greyhounds. The man was sent to prison at Northampton, 
and died there. As the men and hounds were with Robert 
Bacon, the rector of Easton, order was sent to the bishop to 
cause Robert to appear on the loth of July. 

The next forest pleas for Rockingham were held in August, 
1272, after an interval of seventeen years. The justices were 


Matthew de Colombieres, Nicholas de Romsey, and Reginald 
de Acle. The following serious poaching offence, aggravated 
by contemptuous action, then came before the justices ; we 
venture again to avail ourselves of Mr. Turner's translation: 

"It is presented and proved that Simon the son of William 
Tuluse, Richard of Ewyas, the page of William Tuluse, William 
of Wootton, Ralph of Drayton, the chaplain at Wootton, Simon 
of Hanslope, the page of the aforesaid Simon, Alan the son of Hugh 
of Lowick, the woodward of Robert de Nowers of his wood of Bulax, 
John Messias of Lowick, Robert Pette of Lowick, Ralph luelhering 
of the same town, Robert of Grafton, Henry of Drayton and others 
of their company, whose names are to be ascertained, entered the 
forest aforesaid on Wednesday, the feast of St. Bartholomew in 
the fifty-sixth year, with bows and arrows ; and they were shooting 
in the same forest during the whole of the day aforesaid and killed 
three deer without warrant, and they cut off the head of a buck and 
put it on a stake in the middle of a certain clearing, which is called 
Harleruding, placing in the mouth of the aforesaid head a certain 
spindle ; and they made the mouth gape towards the sun, in great 
contempt of the lord king and of his foresters. And the foresters, 
when they were at last perceived by them, hailed them ; and the evil- 
doers shot at them against the peace of the lord king. And the 
foresters, after raising the hue upon them, fled and could not resist 
them. The aforesaid Richard of Ewyas, Alan, Ralph, Robert, and 
Henry came ; and being convicted of this they are detained in prison. 
And the aforesaid Simon Tuluse and Simon his page did not come ; 
therefore an order is sent to the sheriff of Berks that he cause them 
to come on Monday next before the feast of the apostles Simon and 
Jude. As to the aforesaid William of Wootton an order is given 
above. And as to the aforesaid Ralph the chaplain an order is sent 
to the Bishop of Lincoln that he cause him to come on the feast 
of the apostles Simon and Jude. And the aforesaid Robert Pette and 
John Messias are not found ; therefore let them be exacted etc. And 
because the aforesaid Alan, the sworn woodward, was an evil-doer 
with respect to the venison, therefore, by the assize of the forest, let 
the aforesaid wood of Bulax, which he had in custody, be taken into 
the hands of the lord king. 

"Afterwards an inquisition is held and it is proved by all the 
verderers of all the forest of Northampton that Ralph of Heyes the 
bailiff of the Earl of Warwick at Hanslope, who has lands at 
Binsted near Alton in the county of Southampton, Roger, Ralph 


and Thurstan the sons of John the son of John of Hanslope ; Henry 
the son of the parson of Blisworth, William Wolfrich of Wick, the 
man of Simon Tuluse, Walter the man of William Tuluse, and Thomas 
who was the son of the chaplain of Blisworth, with all the above- 
mentioned persons, by the provision, counsel, order, and assent 
of William Tuluse entered the forest of Rockingham on the aforesaid 
Wednesday the feast of St. Bartholomew and during the two pre- 
ceding- days and killed eight deer at least, and a doe, as is aforesaid, 
whose head the aforesaid Simon Tuluse cut off and put on a stake. 
And the aforesaid Richard of Ewyas put a billet in its throat. And 
the venison of the aforesaid eight deer was carried from the forest in 
the cart of Ralph luelhering as far as Stanwick ; and it rested there 
for one night at the house of Geoffrey Russell, he himself not being 
at home, nor knowing anything thereof; and from thence it was 
carried to Hanslope to the house of the aforesaid William Tuluse and 
Simon his son, who had caused all this to be done ; and there the 
aforesaid venison was divided and eaten. And it is proved that while 
the aforesaid evil-doers were in the forest obtaining the aforesaid 
venison during the three days above mentioned, they were harboured 
at the houses of Alan le Gaunter of Cotes and Robert of Lindsay in 
Lowick, who were privy to this. And afterwards Robert de Nowers 
came and made fine for having his wood again by one mark ; his 
pledges were Simon of Waterville and Robert Grenleng. Afterwards 
Alan le Gaunter came, and was detained in prison. Afterwards 
Henry the son of the parson of Blisworth came and was detained in 
prison. And the aforesaid Thomas the son of the chaplain came and 
was detained in prison." v 

Gifts of Rockingham venison continued to be made by 
Edward I. ; it would be tedious to detail them even if there 
were abundance of space. The grants of timber were but 

The king often directly interfered to secure the release on 
bail of venison trespassers. On 3oth July, 1280, Edward I. 
ordered the release of Matilda de Braundeston from imprison- 
ment at Rockingham for a venison trespass to twelve main- 
pernors to have her before the forest pleas. In the following 
year the king instructed his steward or keeper, Richard de 
Holbrok, to order an inquisition on oath of foresters, ver- 
derers, and others, whether one William Genn, imprisoned at 
Rockingham for a trespass in Rutland forest, was guilty 
or not, and if not guilty to deliver him to twelve mainpernors 


to produce at the forest pleas if anyone had aught further to 
say against him. In the same year the steward had like order to 
release on bail another trespass prisoner, unless he had been 
used to offend in the forest. In 1282 two prisoners were 
released on bail by the king's orders, and in 1283 eleven more 
venison trespassers, one of whom, Roger Acle, was a clerk. 

A perambulation of 1 286, ordered by Edward I. , bears witness 
to the vast extent of the technical forest of Rockingham at that 
date ; it extended from the south bridge of Northampton to the 
bridge of Stamford, a distance of thirty-three miles, and from 
the river Nene on the east to the Welland and the Maidwell 
stream on the north-west, yielding an average breadth of 
between seven and eight miles. But when Edward I. formally 
confirmed the Great Charter in 1299, the forest bounds were 
more carefully investigated, and the limits of the 1286 per- 
ambulation were a good deal reduced, the new afforesting of 
Henry II. in several directions being struck out. The land 
that was then disafforested became purlieu. 

It may be well to refer to just a few of the many incidents 
affecting this forest during the long reign of Edward III. 

In 1331, Nicholas, abbot of the Cistercian house of 
Pipewell, with two of his monks and another offender, were 
imprisoned at Rockingham for trespasses of both vert and 
venison ; they obtained letters from Edward III. to the keeper 
of the forest to release them on bail until the next eyre 
was held. This order had to be strongly repeated, the keeper 
being accused of keeping the abbot and others in prison to 
satisfy his malice ; eventually they were released on bail in 

In 1342 the keeper and other ministers of the forest of Rock- 
ingham were ordered to permit the provost and chaplains of the 
college or chantry of Cotterstock to have the tenths of assarts 
and wastes within the forest. In accordance with the king's 
letters to them, Edward II. had granted to John Gifford, his 
clerk, right of common for all his animals and cattle within the 
forest, and subsequently power to assign this grant to the 
provost and chaplains of this new foundation. The grant 
of the tenths was to cover various newly-made assarts. 

The ministers' accounts for 1461-2 show that Robert Roos 
had succeeded to the keepership of the castle and forest, on 


the death of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester. This office was 
held on the annual payment to the king of 65 10^., with the 
addition of 16 IDS. for the custody of the herbage and pannage 
of Brigstock park. The hedging in of sixty acres in the great 
park of Brigstock, and of forty acres in the lesser park for hay, 
cost 66s. 8d., whilst 2cw. was paid for the carriage of the hay in 
winter for the sustenance of the deer ; considerable repairs 
were done to the lodges of Brigstock and Benefield. 

The accounts of 1437 show that William Prostagne was at 
that date constable of Rockingham, keeper of the forest, and 
ranger of the bailiwick. Payments were made in the Rocking- 
ham bailiwick for rights of sheep-folding, called faldage, from 
the different townships ; thus Corby paid jd. a year, Great 
Oakley 3^., Little Oakley 2^., and Carlton i2cl. For the 
escapement of horses and mares payment was made by the 
townships at the rate of 7-r. 4^. a year. The fence month pay- 
ments amounted to 9^. 4^., Cottingham and Middleton paying 
jointly 3-$-. 4^., Corby 2J., and Great Oakley 2s. The lawing 
of dogs was known at this time as houndsilver. The total of 
houndsilver was 27^., namely, 6d. for each man having a dog ; 
the township of Gretton paid 14^., whilst Corby and Little 
Oakley only paid 3-5-. each. The total receipts exceeded .100, 
by far the largest items being the rents for different manors. 
For instance, the abbot of Peterborough paid 12 yearly 
for the manor of Cottingham. The expenses amounted to 
13 9-r. o\d. The clerk who enrolled the accounts had a wage 
of 7-r. 6d., and the parchment used for the accounts and for the 
swainmote roll cost 8d. 

Pleas of the forest were held at Rockingham on 7th Septem- 
ber, 1490, before Sir John Ratcliff and Sir Reginald Gray, 
when Thomas Haslewood was sheriff. Juries from the hun- 
dreds of Willybrook, Hamfordshoe, Polebrook, Rothwell, and 
Corby ; in each case twelve in number were in attendance. 
There were also present Viscount John Welles, the master 
forester and keeper ; Edmund Malpas, Esq., his lieutenant for 
the baily of Rockingham ; Thomas Digby, his lieutenant for 
the baily of Brigstock : and John Pylton and William Lynne, 
rangers, riding foresters, and agisters for the king. 

The full total of the foresters, woodwards, parkers, " pales- 
ters," launders, constables, and four-men, and other ministers 


in attendance as officials at this eyre amounted to the consider- 
able number of 221. 

Those who put in their claims to their respective liberties in 
the forest were the abbots of Peterborough, Pipewell, and 
Croyland ; the prior of Fineshead ; the prioress of St. Michael 
of Stamford; and the master of the College of Fotheringhay ; 
together with a variety of claims from lay-folk, mostly of 
a small character. 

The venison presentments at this court, covering the period 
of the first five years of the reign, made by the foresters, ver- 
derers, and regarders were considerable, and included the 
legal distributions made by the master forester as keeper. 
They also presented many others, knights and esquires, for 
killing ninety-nine deer, during the same period, with dogs 
and bows and arrows contra statutum et assisum foreste ; 
probably some of these changes were in the main covered by 
some real or imaginary permit or right ; but they are mostly 
endorsed on the margin Coram Rege, and must therefore have 
been referred for the decision of the ordinary justices of the 
Crown. Separate presentments were made, under a different 
heading, of eighteen charges of deer-slaying against yeomen 
and husbandmen, several of which were by night, and may 
be considered as ordinary poaching charges. In all these 
cases the sheriff was ordered to apprehend the offenders and to 
deliver them at Westminster for trial. There were also certain 
charges against the foresters themselves, and in these cases the 
offenders were admitted to bail. 

In the vert pleas, presentments were also made of the 
authorised cases of felling timber for specific purposes, or in 
compliance with letters and warrants ; of cases of officials 
acting against the assize of the forest with regard to cutting 
down trees or clearing coppices, which were referred Coram 
Rege ; and also of upwards of fifty cases of the alleged illegal 
removal of trees and underwood, etc., by foresters and other 

An interesting case of encroachment and enclosure came 
before the court. John Zouch had enclosed with "dykes, 
quyksettes, and clausures " certain common ground and pas- 
ture at Cokendale and Wrenstye adjoining the forest, against 
which action the king's tenants and farmers of the lordships of 


Brigstock and Stanion within the forest protested. The court 
gave judgment in favour of the tenants, and instructed David 
Malpas, lieutenant of the forest, to take with him a sufficiency 
of the king's servants to cast down, if necessary, the ditches 
and hedges, and to see that the tenants had sufficient and 
easy ways of approach to the common ; but he was in the first 
instance to call upon John Zouch and " such other gentelmen" 
as might be concerned in the encroachment, to themselves 
remove the fences, and in no case was he to suffer the actually 
aggrieved tenants to take part in the work of demolition. 

Viscount Welles, as master forester, was entitled to twelve 
bucks and twenty-four does annually throughout all the bailies, 
and these are all duly entered for each of the five years. 
There seem to have been at this period far more deer in the 
baily of Cliff than in the other two bailies. John Nightingale, 
yeoman, lately deceased, who had been keeper of Cliff park 
for a long period, had killed therein 340 deer during the reigns 
of Henry VI., Edward IV., and Richard III. The murrain 
during the same period had been terribly severe, for 1,400 head 
of game had died of disease. In Moorhay and Westhay (in 
Cliff baily), during the first five years of Henry VII. 's reign, 
the foresters killed twenty deer with dogs and bows and 
arrows. Two were allowed to be killed yearly by the foresters 
in each of these subdivisions for the training of their young 
dogs. In the same two districts of the forest, Viscount Welles 
and Sir Grey Wolston, the lieutenant of Cliff, killed in the 
first year thirty-one does and fourteen bucks ; in the second 
year, twenty-five does and twelve bucks ; in the third, twenty- 
nine and thirteen ; in the fourth, twenty-three and sixteen ; and 
in the fifth, fifteen and ten. The deaths from murrain during 
these five years amounted to 282. During the same period 
David Philip, Esquire, who was constable of Fotheringhay 
castle, and who had succeeded Nightingale as keeper of 
Cliff park, killed five bucks and eight does. The Earl of 
Wiltshire killed a buck and a doe ; and 100 died of murrain. 
Those killed by David Philip and Lord Welles in Moorhay 
and Westhay were for distribution among the county gentle- 
men to secure their goodwill inter generosos patrie pro meliore 
securitate et utilitate domini foreste. 

Sulehay and Shortwood formed another division of the baily 


of Cliff. During the five years Lord Welles had killed 
therein sixteen bucks and twenty-eight does for distribution 
among gentlemen, and David Philip five bucks and eight 
does for distribution among the inhabitants. 

These pleas were largely concerned with vert. John 
Nightingale was presented by the regarders as cutting both 
wood and underwood in Cliff park, of which he was the 
keeper, without due warrant. A like charge was made against 
Robert Isham, Esquire ; but in both these cases the proceed- 
ings were rendered nugatory through the death of the alleged 
offenders. Thomas Scarbrough was charged with carrying 
off twelve trees called "stubbes," and David Philip with re- 
moving a large number of "spires," a word in use in some 
forests to denote upstanding young timber. Philip was also 
reported for the removal of many spires in Moorhay and 
Westhay and Totenhoe ; but much of the timber that he took 
was used in the repair of Fotheringhay castle, for which there 
was ancient precedent. Richard Sownd was charged with 
felling twelve spires, five other trees, five principal trees called 
"bordur" (boundary) trees, and taking twelve loads of under- 
wood, all without warrant. 

In Rockingham forest, as elsewhere, it was customary to 
lop the twigs of the oaks and other trees to afford sustenance 
for the deer in the winter. Here it passed under the name 
of "derefal wode." The amount depended on the season. 
Thus in 1488 Lord Welles had twenty-six loads of derefal 
cut in Cliff park, but only sixteen loads in 1489. 

In addition to ordinary fuel wood (usually eight loads of 
windfall, valued at 8d. a load), each forester had other vert 
perquisites. They claimed yearly on the recurrence of the 
fence month additional timber in recompense for their extra 
trouble. Thus John Wade, forester of Totenhoe, cut down 
and removed two stubbs, valued at 5-r., pro le fence stubbe ; 
another year he is entered as removing a tree, voc y a fense 
stubbe, valued at 2s. 8d. ; and there are like entries for other 

Special fence timber for foresters occurs in some other 
counties, but nowhere save Rockingham have we met with 
entries of "fox trees." John Holcot, forester of Moorhay, in 
1485, removed a tree called a "foxtre" for his own use, value 


2s., and in the following year he had a stubb of like value 
under a similar term. William and Nicholas Smythe, foresters 
of Moorhay, had four stubbs called "fence stubbes " and two 
stubbs called "fox stubbes." Another entry for a different 
part of the forest clears up the difficulty, where record is made 
of "fox et varmint trees." It seems obvious that this timber 
was a recognition of the foresters' industry in keeping down 
the number of foxes and other vermin. 

Among incidental references to timber may be mentioned 
the felling of spires for the repair of lodges, and for providing 
rails round the laund of Moorhay. In 1488, Richard Watkin- 
son, forester, felled four stubbs worth 2s. 6d. for the men-at- 
arms who were going with the king to northern parts. 

The particulars furnished for this eyre by the verderers and 
the paid officials of the bailies of Rockingham and Brigstock 
are almost as detailed as the return of Cliff baily. The 
keeper of Geddington wood had six stubbs allowed yearly for 
fuel. As fox and vermin trees, he had received twelve stubbs 
during the five years, and ten more as fence stubbs during the 
like period. Four trees from this wood were used in the con- 
struction of a pinfold. In Fermyng wood, by Lord Welles' 
orders, eighty loads of derefal wood were cut in the first year of 
Henry VII., and ten loads of fuel wood and one stubb were 
taken for his hearth. Robert Johnson, keeper of the wood, and 
John Salmon, the ranger, had each a like supply for their 
hearths, whilst the deputies each received four loads. There 
was a similar return for all the five years. 

Amongst a great variety of details pertaining to this eyre 
that have to be omitted, there is one that should not be passed 
over. It was then put on record that twelve acres of wood 
and underwood had been cleared in the coppice of Hamorton 
Dale, and the proceeds, together with those of other clearings, 
given by Henry VI. to the repairs and rebuilding of the 
church of Kingscliff and of the mill of the same town. 

A variety of cases that came before the justices at the forest 
pleas which opened in September, 1490, showed the prevalent 
use of crossbows throughout the district. In 1493 Sir Reginald 
Gray held a court at Collyweston for the sole purpose of 
restraining their use, at which all crossbow owners were re- 
quired to be present and produce recognisances. 


"These be the names of personnes," as is stated on a forest 
role, " yt carrie crossebowes within the forest of Rokyngham 
of whom Recognisaunce was taken as foloweth." The list is 
headed by David Malpas, Esquire, and John Zouche, Esquire, 
of Bulwick, followed by twenty-eight more names who are 
chiefly described as yeomen. Richard Lownde, of Brigstock, 
had two crossbows. The recognisances provided that anyone 
found bearing a crossbow within the forest after 8th October, 

1493, should be mulcted in the sum of 10 to the Crown for 
every such offence, and the weapon forfeited to the lord keeper 
of the forest. 

Ten years later than this, namely in 1493, a general Act was 
passed forbidding the use of a crossbow by any man save 
under the king's licence, unless he was lord or had 200 marks 
in land. In 1514 a much severer statute was enacted, raising 
the property qualification to 300 marks, and imposing a 10 
fine for every use of such weapon. 

Notwithstanding, however, the registering of crossbows at 
Collyweston, this weapon, so much more fatal in comparatively 
unskilled hands than the longbow, continued to be used 
illicitly. At a court held at Brigstock, on nth September, 

1494, before Richard Empson, acting as deputy justice of the 
forest by command of Sir Reginald Gray, and which was in 
reality an adjournment of the pleas of 1490, there were 
several cases presented of the killing of deer (sores and 
prickets) with crossbows, particularly in the Little Park. 

There is an elaborate account book at the Public Record 
Office (96 pp.) of the wood sales and expenses of 1555-6 in 
Rockingham and other Northamptonshire forests. The par- 
cels of wood sold to different persons out of the woods of 
Apethorpe, Bulwick, Oundle, Polbrook, Newton, Fothering- 
hay, etc., amounted to .117 i6s. Hedging was paid for at 
the rate of 2s. 8d. the acre ; this was the rate of pay assigned 
to Greye and his company for hedging eighteen acres. An 
entry like this probably refers to the temporary enclosing with 
rails and thorns of a piece of laund for hay for the deer. 
5 4-r. ok/, was expended this year on the repairs required 
by the various lodges and launds. 

In the same year (2 and 3 Philip and Mary) forest pleas were 
held for Rockingham. 


The personal expenses of the justices of the forest eyre on 
this occasion are set out in detail : 

"Mr. Attornay and others appoynted to be there" had for 
supper at Stamford, on 27th July, 1556, "Chickens ud., rost 
muton 17^., pidgeons 5^., bread and ale 3.5-. 6d., taille (teal) 
8d., buskyetts and carawayes 5^., and wynne and suker 20^." 
On Monday at breakfast they consumed : "Chickens 6d., eggs 
and butter 3^., boiled meat iod., a peace of beffe 8d. , a pece more 
of befe i2d., rost beefe 6d., a conye 4^., a dishe of pike 3^., 
bread and beare 3^. 4^., wynne and .suker 6d." For dinner on 
the same day they had : "Boy lied meate 3^. 4^., vealle 5.$-. 4^., 
lamb 2s. 6d., pigs 2s.6d., befe 2s. 4^., pyes 6s. Sd., roste mout- 
ton 3^., rappetes 2s., bakynge of venyson 2od., peper 2s. 8^., 
paist 2s. 6d.j butter 6d., for payns and charges in the dressy ng 
of the same 3^. 4^., wynne and suker 7.?., breade and beare 
n,?." The same day at supper they began with "pig brothe," 
followed by an abundance of beef, mutton, chickens, and 
rabbits, etc. 

" Horsemeate for Mr. Attornay his horses for on day and on 
nyght " amounted to 14^ ; the sheriff's man received 3^. 4^. for 
" settyng upp of a tente for the Judges to sytt in and other Im- 
plements for the same " ; two poor men had a shilling each for 
fetching two bucks from the sheriff. 

The charges for the Justice Seat at Oundle, on July 27th, was 
on a higher scale; 40^. 6d. was spent in beer ale, and 39^. 6d. in 
wine. The horsemeat of the judges' 32 horses cost 14^. 4^. ; 
the horsemeat for Mr. Attornay and the commissioners' horses 
cost an additional 18^. Half a mark was spent at Oundle in 
setting up benches in the Guildhall for the judges and their 

On the last day of August of the same year a Justice Seat 
was held at Weldon. The eating and drinking was on much 
the same scale ; "the swillers in the kytching" cost i6d. 

A certificate of the regarders of Rockingham for 1577-8, 
presented by Robert Ewarde and Rowland Slade, shows that 
wood was sold that year to the value of ,231 is. 8d. Mention 
is made in the sales of "wrassel okes," a term not found by 
us in dictionaries, or usually met with in forest accounts ; 
it was probably an equivalent for the dotard oaks, or those 
whose upper boughs were barkless and withered. The 


winter store of "derefal" wood is at this date called "dere- 

In 1638 the chief justice in eyre issued his commission to 
Edward Sawyer, of Kettering, Esq., giving him full power and 
authority to inquire from time to time of all such persons 
as are known and suspected of unlawfully keeping and using 
dogs, nets, crossbows, guns, and other engines for the de- 
struction of the game in Rockingham forest. He was com- 
missioned to employ a constable or head borough to search for 
dogs, etc., within five miles of Kettering, and to take into 
custody suspected persons and keep them till further in- 

On the last occasion when a great store of venison was 
brought to Whitehall, " against Christmas," for Charles I., 
then (1640) on the threshold of his troubles, twenty-four does 
came from Rockingham ; this was by far the largest number 
out of those supplied by nineteen different forests or parks ; the 
only other two that reached double figures were Whittlewood 
and New Forest, each of which supplied twelve. 

The commissioners appointed by the 1786 Act for inquiring 
into the state of woods and forests belonging to the Crown 
issued an elaborate report on Rockingham in 1792. It then 
consisted, as of old, of the three separate districts or bailiwicks 
of Rockingham, Brigstock, and Cliff, each of which were 
divided into two or more walks. In Rockingham were Bene- 
field Laund, Vert Walk, and the woods of Gretton, Little 
Weldon, Weedhaw, Thornhaw, and Corby ; in Brigstock 
were the woods of Eddington and Earning ; and in Cliff those 
of Westhay, Moorhay, Sulehay, and Shortwood. It is there 
stated that all the bailiwicks were formerly under one warden 
or master forester, an office granted by James I., in 1603, to 
Lord Burleigh for three lives ; but Charles I. abolished 
the office, and gave, in 1629, the master forestership of 
Rockingham, with Geddington woods, to Edward Lord 
Montague, for three lives, and that of Cliff to trustees for 
Mildmay, Earl of Westmoreland, for three lives. In 1674 the 
wardenship of Earning wood was granted to Sir John 
Robinson for three lives. The commissioners of 1792 found 
that Mr. George Finch Hatton was warden of Rockingham, 
the Earl of Ossory of Earning wood, the Earl of Exeter 


of Westhay, and the Earl of Westmoreland of Moorhay, 
Sulehay, and Shortwood ; whilst Geddington woods, which 
had been disafforested in 1676, had been granted to Lord 
Montague and his heirs for ever. 

The actual woodlands then included in the forest were 
9,482 acres ; namely, Rockingham 3,500, Brigstock 1,400, and 
Cliff 4,582 ; but most of them were private, though subject 
to certain forest rights and burdens. The number of deer must 
have been very considerable, for upwards of 100 bucks and 
a larger number of does were annually killed. 

The two swainmote courts that used to be held, the one for 
Rockingham and Brigstock, and the other for Cliff, had long 
since come to an end, together with the whole array of minor 
forest ministers, and the forest had remained chiefly under the 
care of the hereditary keepers or master foresters. In 1702 
it was found that the Crown could claim the oak timber in 
Sulehay woods, and over 2,000 trees were sold between 1704 
and 1736, yielding a net revenue of 3,623. 

The commissioners came to the conclusion that : 

"A forest in a situation so distant from any residence of the royal 
family, with an establishment of officers, either granted in perpetuity 
or esteemed of little value by those who possess them, and in which 
so little of the right to timber has been preserved, can neither con- 
tribute much to the amusement of the king, the dignity or profit 
of the crown, or the advantage of the public." 

They therefore recommended disafforestation, and the sale 
to the owners of the wood of any rights to the timber that the 
Crown might possess. The commissioners' recommendations 
were carried into law by Acts of 1795 and 1/96. 

Lack of space compels the entire omission of the accounts 
which had been prepared of Salcey and Whittlewood forests 
in this county. 


OXFORDSHIRE from the earliest days was exceptionally 
well wooded. The whole county was in the main wood- 
land down to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. On 
the north of Oxford lay the chase of Woodstock, which merged 
on the forest of Wychwood to the west ; on the north-east, 
near Bicester, was the forest of Bernwood, a considerable 
section of which was in this county ; on the east were the 
adjacent forests of Shotover and Stowood ; on the south-east 
were the wild stretches and dense backwoods of the Chilterns ; 
whilst on the south the woods of Cumnor and Bagley com- 
pleted the circle. It was doubtless the great preponderance 
of hunting ground, at a comparatively short distance from 
London, that made this shire so favourite a resort of our 
Norman kings. Henry I., in order to secure good accommo- 
dation when indulging in the pleasures of the chase, built 
himself an important house at Beaumont on the north side of 
Oxford, as well as a hunting-lodge at Woodstock. This royal 
lodge was surrounded by a park enclosed within a stone wall 
seven miles in circuit, and is said to have been the first 
English park enclosed with this material. Here, according to 
William of Malmesbury, the king established a menagerie of 
foreign beasts. "He was extremely fond of the wonders of 
distant countries, begging with great delight from foreign 
kings, lions, leopards, lynxes, or camels. He had a park 
called Woodstock wherein he used to foster favourites of this 
kind ; he had placed there also a creature called a porcupine, 
sent to him by William of Montpelier." 

Camden, writing in Elizabethan days, was much impressed 
with "the great store of woods" that covered the hills of 
s 257 


Oxfordshire ; but Plot, in his Natural History of the county, 
written shortly after the Civil War, described it as sadly shorn 
during those troublous times of its ancient glory. 

Oxfordshire, strange to say, is destitute of a county history, 
and the story of its woods and forests is as yet unwritten. 
The material for an interesting monograph on this subject 
is fairly abundant ; all that can here be attempted is to give a 
few facts, for the most part hitherto unchronicled, respecting 
the two royal forests of Wychwood and Shotover with Sto- 
wood, together with an incidental reference or two to Bern- 
wood forest, which lay chiefly in the county of Buckingham. 

The Close Rolls of the beginning of Henry III.'s reign 
supply a good deal of fragmentary information about the two 
forests of Wychwood and Shotover. Thomas de Langley 
was at that time master forester-of-fee for Wychwood. In 
1216 he received the king's command to permit the abbot 
of the Cistercian house of Bruern to take a third load of wood 
out of the forest, in addition to the two loads already granted 
him. In the following year Langley was instructed to allow 
William de Brewere to take ten wild boars and ten trees. In 
1218 order was made for the perambulation of the forest, in 
order that its ancient bounds might be established and recent 
additions disafforested. The Crown interfered in 1221 in 
order that there might be due agistment of pigs, and that the 
owners of swine within the forest without warrant might be 
presented ; these instructions were issued to the verderers, 
the forester-of-fee, and the agisters. Wychwood was one 
of the royal forests, to the verderers and keepers of which 
special orders were sent by letters patent as to the extensive 
windfall after the great storm of 1222. Robert Arsic had per- 
mission from the Crown in 1223 to hunt the fox and the hare 
with hounds throughout the forest of Wychwood. In the 
same year Thomas de Langley was instructed to take two 
wild boars (porcos silvestres}^ and to transfer them to the royal 
park of Havering, in Essex. About the like date the keeper 
was ordered to deliver four good dry roers, two of which were 
to be suitable for fuel, to the prior of Lanthony. In 1226 
Ernald de Bosco was granted two does and a buck, and ten 
loads of dry underwood for fuel were bestowed upon the 
hospital of St. John Baptist at Burford. Ralph Fitz-Nicholas 


obtained three oaks in 1229 towards the building of his houses 
at Eston. In the following year Earl Ferrers received fifteen 
oaks in aid of his manor house at Stamford, which was then 
being rebuilt, and a little later he had a grant of five does 
from the same forest. 

On yth February of this year, Thomas de Langley, the 
forester-of-fee, paid the exceedingly heavy fine of 100 to the 
king that he might be quit of the results of forest trespasses, 
of which he had been convicted a few days earlier, namely, on 
the Feast of the Purification, before John de Monemue and his 
associates, justices of the forest pleas, when four acres of land 
in Wychwood, given him by King John, had been resumed 
by the Crown. 

At the time when these pleas were being held, the king 
commanded John de Monemue to give to the prior of Cold 
Norton ten dry roers for his hearth. Two years later it was 
found that the prior had never received this wood, and a re- 
newed order to the same effect was issued to Peter de Rivallis, 
chief justice of the forests. 

About this period a large supply of fuel wood was granted 
to the Dominicans of Oxford and to the hospital of St. John 
Baptist, Oxford, and five oaks to John de Beauchamp. 

The nuns of Godstowe obtained from Henry III., in 1231, 
the tithe of all deer taken in this forest, whether by the king 
hunting in person or otherwise. 

As to Shotover forest, orders were issued to the keeper and 
verderers in 1222, to suffer the hospital of St. Bartholomew, 
Oxford, to take one hundred horseloads of dry wood for fuel. 
In the following year twenty tie-beams (copulas} were ordered 
to be supplied out of Shotover forest to William, the chaplain 
of the Bishop of Winchester, towards the repair of the church 
of St. Budoc, Oxford, beneath the castle ; it had been thrown 
down for strategic purposes during the recent war. In the 
same year, 1223, the necessary timber for constructing a gaol 
at Oxford and for repairing the castle was obtained from 
Shotover. In 1229, when Peter Mimekan was bailiff of Shot- 
over forest, George de Crancumbe obtained four dry leafless 
roers for fuel. In 1230 there was an order which throws a little 
light on the vexed question of the nature of the roer or robur ; 
at all events, this entry on the Close Rolls seems to show that 


there was a distinct recognition of the difference between robur 
and guerctis, even when both were merely intended for fuel pur- 
poses. Nicholas de Farnham had had a grant from the Crown 
of four roers out of Shotover forest for firing, and on 6th April, 
1230, Henry III. ordered that, if this grant had not been 
executed, four oaks for fuel (ad focum suum) should be sub- 
stituted for the roers. Fuel wood was granted from Shotover 
in the same year to the hospital of St. John Baptist at Oxford. 
The Bishop of Chichester obtained a grant in the next year of 
four dry roers for his hearth at Oxford. Another interesting 
grant of 1231 was that of eleven loads of fence timber to Elias, 
chaplain of the Earl of Cornwall, to enclose his church of 

On 26th June, 1231, the king, at the instance of Ralph 
Archdeacon of Chester, Richard Archdeacon of Leicester, 
William de Thany Archdeacon of the East Riding, and of 
the Chancellor of Oxford, and the whole University, granted 
that Thomas de Compton, Henry de Kinneton, and three 
others, who had been found in the forest of Shotover with 
bows and arrows, and had for that trespass been arrested and 
detained in the king's prison at Oxford, should be set at 
liberty, and issued his mandate to the sheriff of Oxford to 
that effect. 

At a later date in the same year, thirteen Shotover trees 
were supplied to the Dominicans of Oxford for fuel purposes. 

An eyre for forest pleas was held at Oxford, before William 
le Breton and three other itinerant justices, which opened on 
24th January, 1256. At this eyre the pleas of the forest of 
Wychwood and Shotover were heard, as well as of that part 
of the forest of Bernwood which lay in Oxfordshire. 

The Close Rolls of Edward I. record various royal gifts from 
the Oxfordshire forests. In 1276, Philip Mimekan, keeper of 
Shotover, was ordered to supply Sir Francis de Bononia, LL.D., 
with eight oaks and their loppings for his fire ; and at the 
same time the keeper of Bernwood received the remarkable 
order to supply Sir Francis with two young bucks and four 
young does, together with four live hares and six live rabbits, 
to be placed in the king's garden at Oxford, in accordance 
with a verbal promise made by the king to the doctor. The 
keeper of Wychwood was directed, in 1277, to supply both the 


Archbishop of Canterbury and the abbot of Bruern with six 
roers a piece for fuel. In the following year four bucks were 
sent from Shotover, as the king's gift to Bartholomew de 
Sutlegh ; in 1279, the abbot of Bruern had twelve oaks with 
their strippings, from the wood of Cornbury, in Wychwood 

In 1280, six live does were sent to the Earl of Lincoln from 
Wychwood to help to stock his park at Middleton ; and in 
1284, eight live does and four bucks were granted to Thomas 
de Charlcote towards stocking his park at Hasele. In 1281, 
six bucks were given from this forest to the Earl of Warwick ; 
in 1282, six bucks apiece to the Bishop of Worcester and to 
John Lovel ; and in 1286, twelve more bucks to John Lovel. 
From Shotover forest, six bucks were given in 1281 to James 
de Ispannia, nephew of Queen Eleanor, the king's consort ; and 
six bucks in 1283 to Geoffrey de Lucy. In 1288, James de 
Ispannia obtained three bucks from Wychwood, and three 
from Bernwood. 

Among the timber grants from Wychwood may be men- 
tioned fuel trees for the Dominican friars in 1281 ; eighty cart- 
loads of brushwood for the king's fuel in 1282 ; fuel trees for 
Alphonsus de Ispannia, another of the queen's kinsmen, then 
at the schools at Oxford, in 1285 > an d timber for the building 
of the church of the Carmelite friars at Oxford, in 1286. 

The Patent Rolls of Edward I. also supply various incidental 
references to the Oxfordshire forest. In 1279, the king par- 
doned Walter de Hanborough for taking a buck in Wychwood 
forest, on paying a mark as a fine. In 1281, the farm of 
this forest, valued at 7 a year, was assigned as part of the 
dower of Queen Eleanor, the king's mother. In the same 
year there was a commission to deliver Oxford gaol of certain 
young scholars, who were in custody there for forest trespasses 
in Shotover. 

Licence was granted in 1282 to Richard de Wyliamescote, 
to hold, during the minority of the heir of Thomas de Lang- 
ley, deceased, the custody of the forest of Wychwood. 

Mandate was issued to the king's foresters, in 1283, not to 
implead Edward Earl of Cornwall, the king's kinsman, 
touching thirty-eight bucks, and two harts, lately taken by 
him with the king's licence, to wit, in the forest of Wychwood 


seven bucks, in the forest of Shotover and Stowood seven 
bucks and two harts, in the forest of Bernwood thirteen 
bucks, and in the forest of Whittlewood eleven bucks. Ela, 
Countess of Warwick, obtained leave in 1290, to have a cart- 
load of dry wood daily, by view of the foresters, out of the 
forests of either Wychwood or Bernwood. 

Mandate was issued to the sheriff of Oxford on 28th June, 
1290, not to molest the Bishop of Winchester, or his minister, 
Philip de Hoyvill, and Master William, parson of the church 
of Witney, or other ministers of his, under pretext of a former 
writ as to venison and assart trespasses in the bishop's chases 
of Witney within the precinct of the forest of Wychwood ;. for 
at that time those who held the inquest were ignorant of the 
king's charter giving the bishop and his ministers licence to 
take venison in his chases, and to assart wood within the 
metes of the forest. 

John de Langley, bailiff of the forest of Wychwood, in 
consideration of a fine of twenty marks made by him before 
Hugh le Despenser, justice of the forest, in the presence of the 
treasurer and barons of the Exchequer, was pardoned in 1305 
of all trespasses committed by him in his bailiwick within the 
forest ; the bailiwick, which had been taken by the justice into 
the king's hands, was at the same time restored to him. 

Licence, after inquisition held by Hugh le Despenser, justice 
of the forest, and in consideration of a fine of 100 marks, made 
by the abbot, was granted in 1307 to the abbey of Eynsham 
to hold the woods of Eynsham and Charlbury, within the 
forest of Wychwood, and also the wood of Eton within Shot- 
over forest, quit of regard, on condition that the venison was 
well kept, and the covert of the wood of Eton was not de- 
stroyed. The keepers appointed by the abbey were to take 
oath not to commit venison offences, and all such trespassers 
were to be attached by the king's ministers of the forest. 

Did space permit, a great variety of references to foresters-of- 
fee, to official appointments, to Crown gifts, and to summons 
for regards and forest pleas could be cited throughout the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and at later periods, rela- 
tive to the Oxfordshire forests, chiefly from the Patent and 
Close Rolls ; but we are not aware of any detailed proceedings 
relative to eyres or forest pleas that are extant. 


There is a fragment at the Public Record Office relative to 
pleas held at Headington on 8th August, 1465, before H. 
Bourchier, itinerant forest justice for the forests of Shotover 
and Stowood. All that is extant is the claim made by 
Sir Edmund Rede to be keeper of these forests, in company 
with extensive right and privileges. 

In 1468 Edward Hardegill, a Crown yeoman, was appointed 
ranger of Wychwood, at a wage of 6d. a day. 

Oxfordshire affords a striking example of the attempt to 
revive strict forest jurisdiction in the time of Charles I. 

A court was held at Headington for the forests of Shotover 
and Stowood on Qth June, 1636, before the foresters, verderers, 
agisters, regarders, and other ministers of the forest. Henry 
Lord Holland was keeper ; Michael Molines, Esquire, lieu- 
tenant ; Sir John Crooke, chief ranger ; and Sir Henry Crooke 
and Unton Crooke, Esquire, verderers. There were three 
foresters, one for the Old Lodge walk in Shotover, one for 
the New Lodge walk in Shotover, and the third for Stowood. 
Edward Whistler was woodward for the whole forest. The 
twelve regarders have all "gen" appended to their names. 
There were also present two gentlemen keepers (preservatores), 
two agisters, five sub-foresters, two wardens of the coppices, 
and two pages. The reeves and four men of eleven neigh- 
bouring townships were in attendance as well as a large 
number of free tenants. 

At the head of the presentments of 1636 appears the 
conviction of William Willoughby, shipwright, for having 
on 2Oth June felled fifty oaks, each of the value of 20^., and 
exposed them for sale contrary to the laws and assize of the 
forest ; for this offence the very substantial fine of 2,000 was 
imposed. The same delinquent was further presented and 
convicted for having, on 23rd June, got up the roots of these 
oaks, each valued at 5^. ; for this offence Willoughby was fined 
in the further sum of 20. The next presentment and con- 
viction was against two husbandmen of Marston, who had 
felled and removed an oak tree worth 3^. on June 3rd ; the 
fine in this case was 5. Another delinquent was fined 40.?. 
for taking an ash worth 6d. The fine for removing three 
cartloads of ash, worth 20^., was 10. There were several 
fines of 2os. for taking green wood to the value o 


Among the venison trespasses, the most serious was that of 
Roger Gardiner, who for killing two does and two bucks was 
fined 100. For killing a doe with a dog called "a 
Maungrell," John Symondes of Headington was fined ^5. 
William Willoughby, the much-fined shipwright, incurred a 
further fine of 10 for having caught a fawn in a sawpit. 
John Wheston was fined in the heavy sum of 20 for netting 

There were also various heavy fines, the lowest being 2cw., 
for agistment trespasses. 

In twenty-five cases offenders (one of whom was John 
Symondes of Headington) were released at the close of the 
court on finding recognisances to appear at the next pleas. 
The first of these was Ellis Mercer, husbandman, who found 
two sureties, one in 20 and the other in 10 : "The condition 
is That if the said Ellis Mercer do appeare at the next Inter 
Foreste or Justice Seate for this Forest to bee houlden, and 
there make aunsweares to all such matters as on his Majesties 
behalf shal bee objected against him and shall not departe 
the said Courte without Lycense, and in the meane tyme bee of 
good behaviour to his Majesties game Virt and Venison of the 
same forest, That then the said Recognisances to bee void, 
otherwise be rendyred in full force." 

The tenth report of the Commissioners of Woods and 
Forests, issued in 1792, is chiefly concerned with the forest 
of Wychwood. Its boundaries at that date were the same 
as those given at a perambulation taken in October, 1665, 
in pursuance of an Act of Parliament of the previous year, 
when the forest area was very greatly restricted. The Com- 
missioners found the forest enclosed within a stone wall. The 
undergrowth, divided into eighteen coppices, enclosed for a 
limited time after each cutting, had an area of 1,841 acres ; the 
lodges with their launds, 127 acres; and the open ridings, 
woods, and unenclosed waste lands 1,741 acres giving a total 
acreage of 3,709. Many of the surrounding parishes and 
hamlets had rights of pasture. The offices for the forest 
government were a ranger, a launder (to take care of the 
launds), four keepers, two verderers, and a woodward. There 
were then about a 1,000 head of deer, all fallow; the numbers 
annually killed were 61 bucks and 42 does, of which 6 bucks 


and 6 does were sent to the king's larder. The red deer had 
become extinct about ten years previously. The Duke of 
Marlborough was the ranger. The trees were chiefly oak and 
ash, with a small admixture of elm, beech, sycamore, lime, 
and horse-chestnut. The browse wood cut for the deer in 
the winter was in the main of thorn, maple, ash, holly, 
and ivy. 

At the time of this commission, through jobbery and 
recklessness, almost the whole of the fine timber of old 
Wychwood forest had disappeared. The Commissioners were 
only able to mention 173 oaks as fit for navy purposes. In 
1800, when Young rode through the district, he found " many 
very beautiful scenes, particularly where the nut fair is held, 
a glen by Mr. Dacre's lodge, and others approaching Bland- 
ford Park, with vales of the finest turf, but not one very fine 
tree of navy oak in a ride of sixteen or seventeen miles." 
Wychwood was not finally enclosed until 1862. 




IT is generally stated that there was never any forest in 
Berkshire save that of Windsor, which, with its purlieus, 
occupied so large a portion of the eastern section of the 
county. But the fact is that almost the whole county was 
forest, that is, under forest laws, in the earlier part of 
Henry III.'s reign. In 1219, when there was a general 
summons of forest ministers for a special inquisition, the 
foresters and verderers of the forest of Berkshire were ordered 
to meet at Reading. In 1221 the king granted custody of the 
forest of Berks to the knights and free tenants residing within 
its bounds, up to the date of his coming of age, on condition 
of their appointing two knights who were to answer in all 
things pertaining to the forest the chief justice of the king's 
forests, according to the customary assize, both in vert and 
venison, as well as other attachments, and in verderers' pre- 
sentments. They were also to see to a regard being taken 
every third year. The bounds of the forest of Berks are at 
the same time set forth ; they began at Reading at the place 
where the Kennet falls into the Thames ; thence almost due 
west by the Kennet to the place (above Padworth) where the 
Emborne, or Auburn, then spelt "Aleburn," falls into the 
Kennet ; thence by the Emborne, which forms the boundary 
between Herts and Hants, to Woodhay, and on to Inkpen ; 
from Inkpen by a green road to Chilton Foliat ; from Chilton 
Foliat along the boundary between Berks and Wilts to the 
river " Lenta" ; and thence by the banks of the Lenta to the 
place where that stream falls into the Thames ; and thence by 



the Thames, round the Oxfordshire borders of Berks, back 
again to the inflow of the Kennet at Reading. 

Maps and records of all kinds have been consulted in vain 
in the endeavour to identify the name Lenta ; but it seems 
practically certain that it was an early name for the river or 
stream long known as the Cole, which forms for several miles 
the boundary between Berks and Wilts, passing by Coleshill ; 
it falls into the Thames near Inglesham at the extreme north- 
west of the county. It thus follows that practically the whole 
of Berks was at this time under forest jurisdiction ; for the 
part to the east of Reading and the Kennet came within the 
forest district of Windsor, or, as it was then occasionally 
called, the forest of Oakingham or Wokingham. 

All of Berkshire save the Windsor district was soon after- 
wards disafforested. 


The western part of the county was occupied by part of the 
forest of Bernwood, on the confines of Oxfordshire, whilst 
part of the Northamptonshire forests of Whittlewood and 
Salcey overlapped its northern boundary. Early in Henry III.'s 
reign mention is made on several occasions of the forest of 
Buckinghamshire ; but it was evidently the term used for 
those parts of the county attached to the forests just named. 

King John gave to the canons of the abbey of Nutley the 
right to use freely two carts to obtain firewood throughout the 
forest of Bernwood between Easter and All Saints, save 
during the fence month, and this right was confirmed by 
Henry III. in 1228 and in 1230. In 1229 Ralph Briton 
obtained the royal licence to hunt with running dogs the hare 
and the fox throughout the whole forest bailiwick of Hugh de 
Neville, in the counties of Bucks and Northants. The forest 
of Brill, though generally known in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries by the separate title, was more usually considered 
part of the forest of Bernwood. It was part of the demesnes 
of the Crown, and tradition has it that Brill was a residence of 
Edward the Confessor. Henry II. held his court here in 1160, 
and Henry III. in 1224. Brill forest was well supplied with 
fallow deer ; fourteen does from here were amongst the king's 
venison gifts in 1229. Out of this forest, in 1231, Henry III. 


gave fourteen dead trees for fuel to the Friars Minor of 

Forest pleas were held in 1229, when Bucks was associated 
for that purpose with Hunts. In November, 1255, four forest 
justices held pleas at Buckingham for the parts of the forests 
of Bernwood and Whittlewood which were in that county. 
In the following January the same justices were at Oxford, 
hearing the pleas for that part of Bernwood which lay in 
Oxfordshire, together with the forests of Wychwood and 

In August, 1266, as set forth by Mr. Turner in Forest 
Pleas, an inquisition was held at Hartley, in Bernwood forest, 
concerning the bailiwick of John the son of Nigel, which he 
held in that forest by hereditary right, as the king wished to 
be certified as to his rights, customs, and services. The jury 
certified that he held by hereditary right the bailiwick of this 
forest from the Stonyford as far as a certain water, called the 
"Burne," running between Steeple Claydon and Padbury ; 
and that he had the rights of cheminage, of after pannage, of 
all nuts, of dead wood, and of the loppings and roots of all 
trees given or sold or taken for his own use by the king. Two 
other rights are sufficiently interesting to be set forth in detail. 

" He has and he ought of hereditary right to have throughout the 
aforesaid bailiwick trees felled by the wind, which is called cablish 
(chableiz), and that in the form underwritten, to wit, that if the wind 
fells ten trees in one night and one day, the lord king will have them 
all ; but if the wind fells less than ten trees in one night and one day, 
the aforesaid John the son of Nigel will have them all." 

" Also this same John has of right by reason of the same bailiwick 
all attachments and issues of attachments made of small thorns, to 
wit, of such a thorn as cannot be perforated by an augur (tarrerd) 
which is called ' Restnauegar.' ' 

The last clause of the verdict of this inquest was to the 
effect that John had to guard the bailiwick of all the forest 
in return for these privileges, and also to make an annual pay- 
ment to the king of 40^. 


In the early Norman days the greater part of Huntingdon- 
shire was under forest law, but this was restricted, even in 


Henry II. 's time, to the districts west and north of the county 
town, generally known as the forest or forests of Weybridge 
and Sapley. Mr. Turner, in Pleas of the Forest (74-9), has 
reproduced interesting matter relative to Huntingdonshire 
forest inquisitions of the years 1248-53, with regard to 
cases of venison trespass presented by the foresters and 
verderers of Weybridge and Sapley. 

Pleas of the forest were also held in June, 1255, before 
William le Breton, Nicholas de Romsey, Geoffrey de Lewk- 
nor, and Simon de Thorpe, justices in eyre. The roll of this 
eyre is of special interest, and has been reproduced and 
translated by Mr. Turner (Pleas of the Forest, 1 1-26). The 
following is one of the more striking cases : 

"It is presented by the foresters and verderers that it is proved 
by an inquisition of the towns of Alconbury, Weston, Great Stukeley 
and Little Stukeley, that a certain Gervais a man of John of Crake- 
hall was seen at night in the forest, for the purpose of evil doing with 
unknown evil doers, with greyhounds, bows and arrows. And after- 
wards the same Gervais was found carrying the harness of his lord, 
John of Crakehall, within the court of the granges of the priory of 
Huntingdon, and was there taken by the foresters and put in the 
prison of Huntingdon. And upon this came Walter, the vicar of the 
church of St. Mary of Huntingdon, and other chaplains of the same 
town, whose names are not known, and William of Leicester, a 
servant of the bishop of Lincoln. And they took the said Gervais 
from prison as a clerk, and led him away with them. And now the 
same Gervais does not come ; and therefore Master Roger of Raven- 
ingham, archdeacon of Huntingdon, who is present, is ordered to 
have the said Walter the vicar and the others before the justices on 
Sunday etc. At that day came the said Master Roger, and brought 
Walter the vicar, who says that when the said Gervais was taken and 
imprisoned as aforesaid, he came with his fellow chaplains and 
admonished them that they should deliver the same Gervais from 
prison, and restore him to holy Church on the ground that he was a 
clerk. And the foresters, fearing excommunication, permitted him 
to depart and did nothing else. And the said Walter was told that 
he took out of prison, and carried away the aforesaid Gervais against 
the peace and by force. And, being asked how he wished to acquit 
himself, he says that he will not answer in this court ; therefore the 
foresters and verderers are asked whether the said Walter and the 
others carried away the same Gervais from the prison or whether 


the foresters, fearing- an ecclesiastical sentence, of their own will per- 
mitted him to depart. They say, that William of Leicester and 
Walter and the others came to the foresters with books and candles 
meaning- to excommunicate them if they did not deliver the aforesaid 
Gervais from prison, and they said they had not power to deliver him. 
And then William and the others went to the prison and dragged out 
and carried away the same Gervais. And Master Roger comes and 
demands the said Walter as his chaplain, and he was delivered 
to him convicted of the aforesaid deed. And afterwards comes the 
said Gervais; and it is proved by the foresters and verderers, that he 
is an evil doer to the venison. And the aforesaid Master Roger 
demands him as a clerk ; and he is delivered to him as a manifest 
evil doer, and one convicted of this. And because John of Crakehall 
harboured this Gervais after that deed, and he still stands by him, 
therefore he is in mercy." 

Another venison case at this eyre was that of Michael of 
Debenham, who killed a buck in a field with an axe, was taken 
by the forest steward to the sheriff, and imprisoned at Hunting- 
don. The sheriff was called to judgment for the escape, but 
he was dead. When Michael escaped from prison, John of 
Debenham harboured him, therefore John was in mercy. 
Also Richard of Stilton saw Michael kill the buck and did not 
raise the hue ; he was attached under pledges, but he is dead. 
And because the townships of Yoxley, Folksworth, Stilton, 
and Morborne did not make inquisition, therefore they were 
in mercy. 

There was also a curious case of clerical trespass before the 
justices. A chaplain and seven clerks were found on the king's 
road in the forest with bows and arrows. They were taken on 
suspicion by the foresters before the steward, who retained 
them for a time in prison, and then handed them over to the 
sheriff, who imprisoned them at Cambridge. Afterwards they 
were delivered by the justices in eyre at Huntingdon to the 
Bishop of Lincoln, as clerks. Simon of Houghton, then 
sheriff, neglected to inform the justices that the clerks were 
arrested for an evil deed and trespass, therefore the justices of 
1255 pronounced him in mercy ; and the verderer to whom 
the bows and arrows were delivered to take them before 
the justices was also in mercy because he then had them not. 

There were also various other instances of men apprehended 


with greyhounds in the forest ; but the most serious case 
before this eyre was that of Richard Weston, a servant of the 
abbot of Waltham, and William and Bartholomew Turkil, of 
Whittlesey, men of the homage of the prior of Ely, who, 
with five other unknown men, took forty roe deer in the marsh 
of Kings Delph, on iyth December, 1254, by order of brother 
Gervais of Arlesay, of the abbey of Waltham, who harboured 

At a swainmote held at Weybridge at Michaelmas, 1451, 
before John Collam and Richard Est, verderers, John Ilger, 
John Roper, and William Mernyk, foresters, said on their 
oath that they had no presentments to make. There was a like 
result to the swainmote held at the following Martinmas. In 
the following year there was only a single presentment at the 
Midsummer swainmote, when a husbandman was convicted of 
killing a fawn with a noose (cordulo); whilst at the Michaelmas 
swainmote there was again only one presentment, namely, of 
another husbandman who had killed a doe with a "curdogge." 
The two next swainmotes were virgin sessions. At Michael- 
mas, 1454, it was reported, as the sole business, that an 
unknown person had killed a fawn with a greyhound. The 
swainmote of Midsummer, 1455, affords an instance of a rough 
method of night poaching adopted in this forest. Three 
husbandmen were convicted of having placed at night a cart- 
rope and two small cords above the cartrope in such a position 
as to take the wild beasts of the king ; the foresters confiscated 
the ropes. The actual words are unum cartrope cum duobus 
cordulis vocatis guarys super eundem cartrope. The word 
guarys was probably a local pronunciation of the term gear, 
implying small ropes used as a rough kind of harness. A 
snare of this kind most likely consisted of a strong rope 
stretched near the ground in a deer path to cause the deer to 
trip, with nooses suspended above to catch their heads. 

At this last swainmote the foresters reported before the 
verderers that the beasts of the king (deer) were dying every 
day of the murrain, and that about sixty fawns, by a careful 
estimate, had been killed by foxes and other vermin since the 
previous court which had been held at Martinmas. 

On the back of the membrane recording these Weybridge 
swainmotes, diverse warrants for the delivery of timber 


addressed in English to the verderers are cited. They were 
issued by Richard Devyle, Esquire, supervisor of the forest of 
Weybridge, and on the margin is written, "By the Quene." 
The following is an example : 

" Welebelovy d , we Wil and charge yowe that on to cure welebelovy d 
William Prudde y e delyver a Oak to be takyn within oure forest of 
Wabryg of our geft and these oure lettres shal be unto you sufficiant 
Warrant geven under oure signet at Wyndesore the xxix day of Juyn 
the yere of my lord xxxii." 

The like form is used for the delivery of deer. Of the eight 
warrants of this year, one was issued immediately by the 
queen, and begins " Margarite by the grace of Godde Quene 
of Ingland and of Fraunse and lady of Irland, daughter of 
the kyng of Sicile and Jerusalem to the kepers of our forest of 

The rolls of the swainmote court held at Weybridge in 
Easter term, 1503, include the following memorandum : 

" M d that it is said that there was felled and sold this last yere past 
by Gerard Stukeley 400 tymbre trees of the grettist and best that 
were in the said forest by what Warrant it is unknowen. 

" Also it is said that there was sold the said yere an huge nombre 
of loodes of fyrewood about 400 by estimation and without warrant 
as is said." 

" There had bene gret sale made this yere past in the Forest of 
Sapley to the som of Twenty pounds or xxx u by estimation and 
rather above. 

"Also it is said that there shalbe a sale made in Sapley this yere 
next comeyng by the said Gerard withoute a Restraynt be had." 

Gerard Stukeley's reply to these charges was to the effect 
that the king's lodge of the forest of Weybridge was " ruy- 
nous and in grete decay " ; that the verderers assigned 48 
trees to him for its repair to the value of .4 ; that Sir John 
Sapcotes, deceased, the late warden, to whom the underwood 
belonged by reason of his office, ordered him during his life- 
time to cut and dispose of it, which he did to the extent of 
under 100 loads; that since the king had been pleased, "at 
the speciall instance of the noble pryncesse moder to our seid 
sovereigne lord," to appoint him warden of Sapley, he had 


caused the underwood to be felled "accordyng to the auncient 
custom there used oute of tyme of mynde." 

Information was at the same time laid against John Stukeley, 
son of the keeper of Weybridge, that he had felled trees to the 
value of 40, without warrant or authority, as well as under- 
wood to the value of 20. In his answer, John Stukeley stated 
that he had neither felled nor sold any forest trees, save (on 
the warrant of Gerard Stukeley) those assigned to himself and 
other keepers as their wages and fees, and those required by 
the verderers for the repair of the lodge ; and that as to under- 
wood he neither felled nor sold any, save "certeyn browsyng- 
wode felled for the kinges deer there this last hard wynter for 
the salvation of the kinges game there, which said browsyng- 
wode belongeth to the master forester as in ryght of hys 


THE history of this important forest has received far 
more attention at the hands of local historians 
than has usually been the case with the ancient wastes 
of other counties. In Atkyn's Ancient and Present State 
of Gloucestershire (1768), it is accounted the third in size of 
the forty-eight ancient forests of England, and a fair outline 
of its history is given. This account is materially supple- 
mented in Rudder's New History of Gloucestershire (1779), 
and was further followed up in Bigland's Historical Collections 
(1741). The third report (115 folio pages) of the Commis- 
sioners of Woods and Forests, 1783-97, is almost wholly given 
up to the consideration of Dean Forest. Many of these facts 
are to be found in Fosbroke's Record of Gloucestershire 
(1807). The Rev. H. G. Nicholls, in 1858, published an 
An Historical and Descriptive Account of the Forest of Dean, 
which covered 286 pages, and to this he added, in 1863, a 
supplementary volume on The Personalities of the forest of 
Dean, containing much fresh information. 

There is still, however, so large an amount of unused 
material extant with regard to the history of this forest, that a 
monograph, which promises to be of an exhaustive character, 
is now (1905) in course of preparation. All that can be here 
attempted is to give a very brief outline of the forest annals, 
citing a variety of information that has not hitherto been 

The forest of Dean forms a considerable division in the 
west of Gloucestershire, and comprises about 30,000 acres 
between the rivers Severn and Wye. Of its great dimensions 
Michael Drayton thus sings in his Polyolbion : 



Queen of forests all that west of Severn lie, 

Her broad and bushy top Dean holdeth up so high, 
The lesser are not seen, she is so tall and large. 

It derives its name from Dean, the old market town of that 
name within the forest bounds. The tithes of the forest 
venison were granted by Henry I. to the abbey of Gloucester. 
Henry II. granted to the abbey of Flaxley, founded in 1140, 
the right to have two forges for the making of iron in the 
forest, one stationary and the other itinerant. For the feeding 
of these forges the abbey was allowed two trees every week. 
The keepership of the forest was usually associated with the 
custody of the castle of St. Briavel, which is said to have 
been built by Milo, Earl of Hereford, in the reign of 
Henry I. 

The restless King John, as is shown from his itinerary, was 
frequently sojourning in the forest between the years 1207 and 
1214, doubtless for purposes of the chase; he generally stopped 
a day or two both at the abbey of Flaxley and the castle of 
St. Briavel during his visits. In February, 1215, when staying 
at Maryborough, he directed Hugh de Nevill to permit William 
de Cliff to take four hinds in the forest of Dean, and John de 
Monmouth and Walter de Lasey three each. In June, 1216, 
the king appointed John de Monmouth to the custody of the 
castle of St. Briavel and to the keepership of the forest, and 
directed the verderers, foresters, and other officials to submit 
themselves to him as the king's bailiff. Two months later 
John instructed the newly-appointed keeper to find everything 
that was necessary for Alberic, his huntsman, with twelve dogs, 
two horses, two grooms, and a berner. 

On 3oth September, 1216, John wrote from Lincoln to the 
constable of St. Briavel, ordering that cattle were only to be 
agisted on the fringes of the forest, and not in the forest 
itself, nor in those places frequented by the wild boars (porci 

The Close Rolls of Henry III. abound in references to this 
great Gloucestershire waste, but lack of space prevents the 
majority of these cases being cited here. 

Boar hunting at this period was sufficiently important for 
Henry III. to grant in 1226 a tithe of the boars thus killed to 


the abbey of Gloucester. In December of that year the king 
was hunting here in person, and he instructed Roger de 
Clifford to hand over to the sheriff of Gloucester, for due con- 
veyance, five great boars, fifteen hinds, and the rest of the 
results of the royal hunt. In the summer of the following 
year the king was supplied with ten harts from this forest. In 
July, 1231, when John, the huntsman, was taking harts for the 
king's use at Dean, he was ordered to dispatch a hart without 
delay to Eleanor, the king's cousin. From these and many 
later entries it is quite clear that the red deer largely predomi- 
nated in Dean forest during the first half of the thirteenth 
century, though there was a small admixture of fallow deer ; 
but the proportions were reversed before the time Edward I. 
came to the throne. 

The regulations with regard to the forges of this forest for 
iron-making were frequent, stringent, and changeable. The 
necessity for limiting them arose from the quantity of fuel they 
required. The manor of Cantelupe had early chartered right 
to an itinerant forge, and endeavours were made from time to 
time to confine its consumption to dry or wind-fallen wood. 
In 1228 the king gave orders that there were not to be more 
than three itinerant forges worked by the royal servants. In 
the following year the abbot of Faxley was ordered to confine 
his itinerant forge to the thorn thickets (spissitudinibus} on 
the confines of the forest. So much difficulty arose from the 
abbey's insistence on its old chartered rights to two forges, 
that in 1244 the Crown compromised the matter by the hand- 
some grant of 872 acres of woodland in exchange for the 
charter's surrender. 

In 1225 Henry III. granted a recluse, or hermit, named 
Panye de Lench, four acres of land in the forest and two oaks 
wherewith to build himself a house. 

It is stated in Nicholls' history of this forest that the first re- 
corded perambulation took place in the reign of Edward I., 
but this is an error. A perambulation was undertaken by an 
inquest of twelve knights in 1228, with the result that the 
bounds were declared to be the same as in the days of 
Henry II. The forest occupied the whole peninsula ground 
between the Wye and the Severn, proceeding north-east as 
far as Newent, and north as far as Ross, save that the Bishop 


of Hereford had a chase in the wood of Laxpeniard, and the 
Earl Marshal a warren at Tudenham. 

Forest pleas were held in 1258 and again in 1270. The next 
eyre was in 10 Edward I., when the bounds of 28 Henry III. 
were confirmed. At that date there were nine bailiwicks in the 
forest, each under the charge of an hereditary forester-in-fee, 
and all subordinate to the constable of St. Briavel, who was the 
keeper, or master forester, of the whole. He also had the 
special charge of the tenth bailiwick of Rywardyn. The nine 
other bailiwicks and their respective foresters were Abbenhalle, 
under Ralph de Abbenhalle ; Blakeney, under Walter de 
Astune ; Bleythe, under Ralph Hatheway ; Berse, under 
William Wodeard ; Bicknoure, under Cecilia de Michegros ; 
the Lea, under Nicholas de Lacu ; Great Dean, then in the 
hands of the king ; Little Dean, under Ralph de Abbenhalle ; 
and Stauntene, under Richard de la More. The verderers were 
four in number, and elected, as elsewhere, by the freeholders 
for life, but removable by the Crown. 

Of these pleas of the forest of Dean, which were held at 
Gloucester in the octave of St. Hilary, 1282, before Luke de 
Thany, Adam Gurdun, Richard de Crepping, and Peter de 
Lench, justices, exceptionally long details are extant. The 
first membrane is taken up with twenty-seven essoins de morte, 
established in each case by the appearance of the heir, near 
relative, or some other responsible person; and with the names 
of fifty-eight persons who surrendered themselves on the first 
day of the session for venison trespasses, ten for vert tres- 
passes, and two for heath-burning. Fines, varying from 
\2.d. to 40^. were imposed on upwards of seventy persons for 
non-appearance. Among the vert presentments were charges 
of taking timber for sale by boat to Bristol, and a few cases of 
charcoal burning. 

The presentments of venison trespasses were very numerous; 
they cover both sides of eight long membranes. They are 
arranged chronologically, beginning in 1271, after the last 
eyre, when the Earl of Warwick was keeper of the forest, and 
continuing through the keepership of Philip Wyther and 
Walter de Snape up to the year of the eyre. 

The great majority of the cases are concerned with fallow 
deer, but in a few cases the killing of red deer, and in two 


instances roe deer are recorded. Boats on the river were much 
used by venison as well as vert trespassers. 

The regard of the forest, which had been taken in prepara- 
tion for the eyre, is set forth in great detail on six membranes 
the old and new assarts, the old and new purprestures, and 
the survey and destruction of woods. In the last case it was 
presented that the wood of chestnuts had much deteriorated 
since the last eyre, through the bad custody of Ralph Abben- 
hall, the forester-in-fee of the baily of Abbenh^.11. The re- 
garders found there thirty-four stumps of chestnuts that had 
recently been felled, of which Roger de Clifford, the justice, 
had had two for making tables. A wood of sweet chestnuts 
was a great rarity in England, and evidently much prized. 
When Henry II. founded Flaxley abbey, he gave the monks the 
tithes of the chestnuts of Dean. The old name for Flaxley, as 
mentioned in the foundation charter, was the valley of Castiard, 
a place-name probably derived from the presence of the chest- 
nut trees. The vert presentments of this eyre show that the 
chestnut, from its rarity, was about three times the value of the 
oak, namely, 8s. a tree. 

The regarders also reported as to the boats owned by the 
tenants, which were so often used for the illegal exporting of 
wood and timber. The regarders estimated the damage done 
to the king by each boat in sums varying from half a mark to 
forty shillings. These sums, with a usual additional fine of 
i2d., were exacted by the justices. 

This highly interesting roll of forest pleas, one of the 
fullest extant, which specially deserves being printed in extenso, 
concludes with long lists of mainpernors or the givers of bail, 
and with statements of claims to liberties and the names of the 
attorneys by whom they were supported. 

At the time of this eyre there were found to be, according to 
Nicholls, no fewer than seventy-two of the itinerary or movable 
forges within the forest ; the Crown received for licensing them 
7-r. each a year. 

Mr. Nicholls has printed much concerning the receipts and 
expenditure of this Crown forest, from the Pipe Rolls of 1130 
downwards, and this could easily be supplemented by further 
particulars, especially of the reign of Edward II. Throughout 
the fourteenth century the forest of Dean was frequently called 


upon to furnish considerable contingents of archers and 
miners to serve in the wars with Scotland and France. In 
1316 the men of the forest also took a prominent part in the 
suppression of Welsh disturbances. Three commissioners of 
array were appointed in February for the purpose of raising 
a force of 1,000 foot soldiers in the forest of Dean and else- 
where in the county of Gloucester, who were to be marched, 
at the king's wages, against Llewellyn Bren and his followers. 

In 1316, tithes to the value of 10 issuing from the iron 
mines in the parish of Newland were granted to the Bishop of 
Llandaff ; but this assignment met with great opposition at the 
hands of the Dean and Chapter of Hereford, who sent their 
servants to use forcible resistance. In the following reign this 
dispute was settled in favour of the bishop, who also obtained 
the great tithes of Newland and the advowson of the vicarage. 
In 1324 the Earl of Pembroke was ordered to cause his minis- 
ters to desist from hindering the abbot of Gloucester from fell- 
ing wood for his houses and for fuel in the woods of Bride- 
wode and Hopemaloysel within the forest bounds, as he held 
an ancient chartered privilege. 

Edward III., in 1329, granted to Guy de Brien, the farmer 
and keeper of the forest, the cutting of all the underwood, to 
find wages for four foresters. In the same year Gilbert Talbot 
was licensed to impark and hold in fee-simple a plot called 
Haygrove, parcel of his manor of Lynton, Herefordshire, 
containing one hundred acres of land and fifteen acres of wood, 
which was within the metes of the forest in the time of 
Edward II., but had by perambulation been then placed out- 
side the forest. 

Notwithstanding their bravery and skill as soldiers, the 
inhabitants of some parts of the forest had an evil reputation 
as wreckers. Thus in 1344 a special commission was issued to 
deal with the persons who had attacked a ship of Majorca, 
laden with goods and wares, which had been driven ashore by 
stress of weather in the parts of the forest of Dean, and had 
plundered the master and mariners of the ship and others 
deputed to guard the goods, and this at a time when the king 
had entered into truces with his adversaries on every side. 

Richard III., in 1391, granted the castle of St. Briavel and 
the forest of Dean, to the value of 80 a year, with assarts, 


purprestures, rents, advowsons, liberties, etc., to his uncle 
Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, in part satisfaction of the sum of 
1,000 a year granted to him to maintain his ducal rank. 

In the days of Henry VI. the character of the miners and 
tenants of the forest had grown worse. The men of Tewkes- 
bury, in a petition to Parliament of 1430, charged them with 
attacking their vessels, by which they conveyed goods down 
the river to Bristol, " with great ryot and strengthe in manner 
of warre," despoiling them of their merchandise and their 
wheat, malt, and flour, sinking their boats and drowning those 
who resisted them. 

The Crown was continuously appointing, during the latter 
part of the fifteenth century, to various offices in this forest, the 
duties of which were generally discharged by deputy, or grant- 
ing charges on the receipts to their servants. Thus in 1480, 
Edward IV. granted to Robert Mutton, "gentilman," the 
office of porter of St. Brivel and receiver of the forest of Dean ; 
to William Sclatter, the king's servant, in 1481, the parkership 
of Whightmede park and 4^. daily from the forest issues ; and 
to John Grenehill, one of the Crown yeomen, in the same year, 
6d. daily from the issues of the king's mines. Richard III., 
in 1484-5, granted to George Hyett the office of riding forester, 
together with that of "ale cunner" in the parish of Newland ; 
and to John Peke the life office of one of the rangerships. 

The suppression of the monasteries brought about much con- 
fusion in this and other forests. Dean forest was more 
especially effected by the dissolution of the abbeys of Flaxley 
and Tintern. The Kingstons, father and son, to whom much 
of the monastic properties and forest privileges were granted, 
were insistent on their rights, but failed to discharge the 
obligations that had been fulfilled by the religious houses. 

It has been stated both by Fuller and Evelyn that the 
Spaniards so fully recognised the great value of Dean forest, 
as supplying the best timber for England's navy, that special 
instructions were given to the admirals of the Armada, to 
accomplish the devastation of these woods, even if they were 
not able to subdue the nation and make good their conquest. 

A grant was made to William Earl of Pembroke, in 1611, of 
the castle of St. Briavel and of the forest, with all its appurte- 
nances, save the timber, for forty years at a rental of .83 13$. <\d. 


A survey of 1638 returned that the forest contained 105,557 
trees, containing 61,928 tons of timber, in addition to 153,209 
cords of underwood. An entire sale was thereupon made by 
the Crown to Sir John Wintour of all woods, mines, quarries, 
etc., within the forest in consideration of 106,000, to be paid 
by instalments, and a fee-farm rent of 1,950 i2s. 8d. for ever. 
The commissioners and commoners agreed at this time to the 
disafforesting and enclosure of 18,000 acres. 

Sir John Wintour, on entering into possession, made many 
enclosures, and grubbed up much timber and underwood ; but 
the outbreak of the Civil War checked his proceedings, and the 
inhabitants threw down all the enclosures. For a time it 
seemed as if general lawlessness would bring about the 
destruction of all the woods, but Cromwell and the Parliament 
took vigorous measures for their preservation in 1648. An 
Act was passed in 1656 by which Wintour's grant was declared 
void, and the whole forest was vested in the Protector for the 
use of the Commonwealth. 

At the Restoration, however, Wintour again entered into 
possession, and began to re-enclose. The inhabitants offered 
strenuous resistance, and the matter was referred to a com- 
mission to survey and report. It was found that there were 
25,929 oaks and 4,204 beeches, " as good timber as any in the 
world." A new treaty was entered into with Wintour in 1661, 
by which he surrendered his former patent, and agreed to 
preserve 11,335 tons f shipping timber. It was, however, 
reported to the House in 1663 that Wintour had 500 cutters at 
work, and that the woods would all speedily disappear unless 
there was further interference. The work of destruction went 
merrily on until 1668, when it was decided by Act of Parliament 
that 11,000 acres might be enclosed by the Crown; that all 
the wood and timber on the remaining 13,000 acres was to be 
vested absolutely in the Crown and reafforested ; that the deer 
*on that waste were never to exceed 800 ; and that the winter 
heyning and fence month, when no kind of cattle were to be 
agisted, was to extend from St. Martin's Day to St. George's 
Day in April, and for fifteen days before and fifteen days after 

Into the question of the pulling down of the king's iron 
works in the forest, in 1674, and the establishment and con- 


tinuance of the Mine Law Court, space prohibits us to enter. 
The more recent development of coal and iron industries in 
this beautiful district is also foreign to our purpose. 

As to the deer, which seem to have been almost entirely 
fallow after the Restoration, they became much reduced in 
number by the end of the eighteenth century, although a most 
elaborate and costly staff of forest officials were maintained. 
The commission of 1788 found that there was a warden, six 
deputy wardens, four verderers, a steward of the swainmote 
court (which never sat), nine foresters-in-fee, nine woodwards, 
and six keepers ! Mr. Charles Edwin, chief forester-of-fee and 
bowbearer, told the commissioners that he was entitled to the 
right shoulder of all bucks and does killed in the forest, and 
to ten fee-bucks and ten fee-does annually ; and that as bow- 
bearer it was his duty to attend the king with bow and arrow 
and with six men clothed in green whenever His Majesty 
might be pleased to hunt in the forest. But though receiving 
all his venison perquisites, this chief forester-of-fee was so 
ignorant of any corresponding duties, that he could not tell 
the commissioners the number of deer or anything as to 
venison warrants executed in the forest. From the six keepers 
the commissioners gained the vague information that they 
believed there were about 500 " of all sort" in the forest. 
The deer were finally all destroyed or removed from the forest 
in 1850, as the result of Lord Duncan's committee of the 
previous year, to the number of about 150 bucks and 300 
does. The general feeling at that time was that their presence 
had a demoralising effect as an inducement to poaching. 


A "/THOUGH the forest of Essex was one of the most im- 
portant in England, not only in extent, but in con- 
sequence of its nearness to the metropolis, the chapter 
concerning it will be about the briefest in the book. The 
reason for this is that Mr. Fisher, in 1887, published a learned 
and almost exhaustive work on The Forest of Essex, based 
on researches among a great variety of original documents 
and authorities. Moreover, Mr. E. N. Buxton has written a 
most admirable handbook to that " superb fragment of natural 
forest," of which under its new rule he is the verderer the 
forest of Epping. 

The forest of Essex was known from the beginning of the 
fourteenth century as the forest of Waltham. It is only in 
comparatively modern days that it has taken its name now 
that its area is so much more restricted from the little town 
of Epping. It was the custom in this county not only to call 
the whole forest by the names of principal places, such as 
Waltham and afterwards Epping, but also to write of the out- 
lying parts, such as Kingswood, Writtle, and Hatfield, as 
well as integral portions such as Theydon, Loughton, Ching- 
ford, Havering, and Hainault, as though they were indepen- 
dent forests. But they were all ancient Crown demesnes, 
under the same forest regulations, and administered by the 
same chief officers. The whole, as late as Henry III.'s reign, 
was, more usually, rightly spoken of as the forest of Essex. 

The whole county was brought under forest law, save per- 
haps a portion on the north-west beyond the great Roman 
road, by the Conqueror and his immediate successors. A 
small amount of disafforesting was carried out by Henry II. 



and by John. The perambulations of Essex forests, a neces- 
sary sequel of the Forest Charter of 1217, were completed in 
1225, and the result was that about three-fourths of the county 
were ruled to be outside forest jurisdiction, because it had been 
formally afforested after the coronation of Henry II. in 1154. 
The part that remained forest was in the south-west corner, 
round Waltham and Romford, with the adjacent Crown 
demesne of Havering. However, Henry III. audaciously 
upset this disafforesting in 1228, alleging that the perambulat- 
ing knights had blundered, the disafforested parts being old 
forest of the time of Henry I., which had lost its rights in the 
disturbances of Stephen's days, and had been only restored 
as forest by Henry II. The group of Essex venison inquisi- 
tions for 1238-40 (the earliest extant of any county), cited by 
Mr. Turner in Forest Pleas, show that forest law was then in 
active operation even in extreme parts of the county north of 
Colchester, on the borders of Suffolk. 

Various perambulations were made in the time of Edward I. 
confirming the extended area ; but in 1300, when he was sore 
pressed for money, the commons made a fresh and definite 
perambulation of the forests a condition of their grant. The 
result of the 1301 examination of forest boundaries and their 
authorities was on broad lines the same as that of 1225. The 
forest area was restricted to the Waltham and Havering corner 
of the county, with the addition of the vills, or small districts 
immediately round the towns of Colchester, Writtle, Hatfield 
Regis, and Felsted, as they were all ancient royal demesne. 

In 1630 boundaries were again laid down which practically 
agreed with those of 1301. Four years later much indignation 
was aroused by the Crown officials attempting to raise money 
by extending the area of Waltham forest. Failing in this, an 
attempt, also futile, was made to secure its disafforestation 
and sale. This resulted in an Act being passed, during the 
first session of the Long Parliament, to fix the boundaries, 
and a perambulation showed that Waltham forest comprised 
about 60,000 acres. 

The chief duty of the reeves of the forest parishes was to 
mark the cattle of their respective parishes which were entitled 
to forest agistment with a special brand. The mark consisted 
of a letter surmounted by a crown, the letters running con- 

A- Wattham Holy Cross E - Epping C - Chingford 

K Barking K Barking H "~ ChigwelL 

(Maypole). (Crooked Billet)- 

\--Dagenham Q-JYatthamslom Q~ Wan stead 



secutively from A to R. Many of the old branding irons, with 
letters about eight inches high, are still extant, and impres- 
sions are given in Mr. Fisher's volume, from which those on 
the accompanying illustration are taken. 

The machinery of the forest laws, so far as the local courts 
were concerned, was maintained with some measure of strict- 
ness far later in Waltham forest than elsewhere in the king- 
dom. It was in active operation until nearly the end of the 
eighteenth century, and was certainly effective in preventing 

In 1812 Mr. Wellesley Pole (afterwards Lord Mornington) 
became hereditary lord warden in right of his wife. This 
gentleman, as Mr. Buxton puts it, "saw that more profit was 
to be made in breaking his trust than in keeping it"; he refused 
to support the authority of the verderers, and did all in his 
power to bring the forest laws and customs into contempt. 
Finally, he sold the rights he was appointed to guard. 

In the middle of last century wholesale enclosures began, 
resulting in the complete destruction of the woodlands of 
Hainault in 1851 and its conversion into arable land. A 
manufacturer of steam ploughs entered into a contract to clear 
the land. Attaching anchors to the roots of the old oaks, 
including the Fairlop Oak of ancient memory, he completed 
the whole operation in six weeks. This ruthless action began 
to bring about a reaction, and after a legal contest, extending 
over fifteen years, in which the Corporation of the City of 
London played a great part, the preservation of 5,500 acres 
of Epping Forest was secured for the enjoyment of the public. 
The victory was won in 1874, anc ^ tne management of the forest 
vested in a committee, consisting of twelve members of the 
Court of Common Council and four verderers ; the latter have 
to be resident within the forest, and are elected by the com- 

For full particulars as to the history of the deer of this forest, of 
the woods and wood's rights especially of lopping, which was 
practised more in Essex than elsewhere of the pasture and 
pannage customs, of the enclosures and encroachments, and of 
the verderers, foresters, and king's woodwards, the reader 
is referred to Mr. Fisher's comprehensive work. 


THE forest of Windsor was at one time of immense extent, 
having a circumference of about 120 miles. It included 
a part of Buckinghamshire, a small portion of Middlesex, 
the south-east side of Berkshire as far as Hungerford, and 
a very large part of Surrey. In the early part of its history 
almost the whole of Surrey was technically within the bounds 
of Windsor forest, and subject to forest law ; whilst for several 
centuries the rights of Windsor forest on the Surrey side 
included Cobham and Chertsey, and extended along the side 
of the Wey as far as Guildford. But it gradually dwindled in 
extent through encroachments and grants, so that when 
Norden made his detailed survey in the time of James I., the 
circuit, exclusive of the Buckingham liberties, was only 
77| miles. At the time of its enclosure in 1813, the circuit had 
been still further reduced to 56 miles. 

There is a noteworthy reference in the Close Rolls at the end 
of John's reign to the deer of this great forest. On gth January, 
1215, the king gave orders for no fewer than sixty-four deer to 
be supplied out of Windsor forest for the great feast at the 
consecration of the bishop-elect of Coventry. This feast took 
place at Reading, for William Cornhill was consecrated Bishop 
of Coventry and Lichfield, and Richard le Poor Bishop of 
.Chichester, on 25th January, in the infirmary chapel of the 
Benedictine abbey of that town. 

The references to royal grants made by Henry III. out 
of Windsor forest are numerous and interesting, but for these 
search must be made in the printed calendars of both Close 
and Patent Rolls. 

The grants of timber in Henry III.'s reign out of Windsor 



forest were not nearly so numerous as those from royal forests 
in Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire, or Essex ; in 
fact, there were exceptionally large tracts of open common and 
waste in this widespread forest district, where even bushes were 
exceptional. The donations that were made were chiefly to the 
religious, to the friars of Oxford, Reading, and London, to 
the abbeys of Chertsey and Westminster, to the priories of 
Ankirk and Merton, and particularly to the nunnery of Brom- 
hall, within the forest. 

Among the more interesting grants of timber for specific 
purposes are those relative to ships and boats. In 1221 a grant 
of beechwood was made to William Earl of Salisbury for 
building a ship ; the trees selected were to be those growing 
near the banks of the Thames, as the timber was to be taken 
down to London. The constable of Windsor was directed, in 
1224, to supply the chaplain of the chapel of St. Mary of 
Faversham with timber for making a boat (batellum) so that 
poor people and others might be able to cross the Thames 
to Faversham and back. Again, at a little later date, a good 
oak was supplied wherewith to make a boat for the conveyance 
of poor folk over the water of Cavresham. 

The ancient mitred abbey of Chertsey, founded in the 
seventh century, had many liberties and rights within this 
forest, particularly on the Surrey side. William II. granted 
the abbey leave to take wood for their necessary uses out 
of the Surrey forests, and to hunt therein hare and fox. 
Henry II., in a further charter, added to this general free 
warren liberty to hunt the wild cat and to take pheasants, 
to impale parks at Ebisham and Coveham, to have all the game 
in them free from molestation by the king's foresters, and that 
none of the forest justices or other ministers were to disturb 
them in their four manors of Chertsey, Egham, Thorpe, and 
Chobham, or even to enter therein. The venison privileges 
were limited by charter of Richard I. and John, but their 
manorial powers were increased. 

The pleas of the forest were held at Guildford in 1256, but 
the earliest eyre within Windsor forest of which there are any 
details was that held at Guildford on 8th July, 1270, before 
Justices Roger de Clifford, Matthew de Colombieres, Nicholas 
de Romsey, and Reginald de Acle. It was then presented 


and proved by the verderers and by twenty-four good men of 
the town of Guildford and its vicinity, as well as by many 
sworn townships, that Walter Walerund, William his brother, 
and three others who were all dead, as well as Thomas de 
Bois, a survivor, were all habitual evildoers to the venison 
of the king and to his conies in Guildford park ; that some- 
times they were harboured at the house of Alan de Slyfield, 
and sometimes at the house of John atte Hook, who were privy 
to their offences ; and that all these persons, on Whitsunday, 
1267, took in the park, without warrant, a buck, a doe, and 
thirteen conies, and that Robert de Ford was their harbourer 
and privy to it. Ralph, Alan, and John appeared, and were 
convicted and imprisoned. The sheriff was ordered to produce 
Thomas and Robert at the court on i8th July. When Thomas 
de Bois appeared he was imprisoned, but before the pleas were 
ended he was released on payment of a mark. Ralph, Alan, 
and John were also released on payment of half a mark. The 
next presentment was against five persons who entered the 
same park on 22nd July, 1263, with bow and arrows and grey- 
hounds, to do evil to the king's venison. Three of the offenders 
were dead, and the other two were ordered to attend the court 
day by day. It was afterwards proved that two more persons 
of this poaching party had entered the park seven years pre- 
viously; one of these was then living at Farnborough, and the 
justice sent an order to the sheriff 1 of Hampshire to arrest him 
and keep him safely in prison until the eyre was held at 

The information as to the agisting of the park, presented at 
this eyre, is of interest. In 1257 the park was agisted with 
ten horses and a hundred cattle for eight weeks, from Hock- 
day to the Nativity of St. John Baptist, at a charge of id. a 
head. After 24th June there remained on the park herbage 
twenty plough-beasts at \d. a week. In the same year the 
.park was agisted for 156 pigs, and there was given in the 
name of pannage for the king every third pig, or 52 pigs in 
all, each worth 2s. Particulars, approximately the same, save 
that there was no pannage, follow on the roll for the next 
two years. In 1260 there was no agistment of herbage in con- 
sequence of the war, but the park was agisted with 240 pigs for 
mast, ^d. being paid for each pig. In 1261 and in 1262 the 


park was not agisted, neither for herbage nor pannage. 
In 1263 there were 100 pigs for mast at 4^. a pig. In 1264 
there was no agistment for pigs through lack of mast, but it 
was agisted for a month with 56 plough-beasts. Fifty oaks 
were felled this year for the king's house-building works at 

The bounds of the Surrey part of Windsor forest at this 
eyre were given as : through Ham as far as Guildford bridge 
along the bank of the Wey ; from Guildford bridge along the 
11 Copledecroche " (Hog's Back) as far as the "Malloesot" 
bridge; by the Woodbrook as far as " Brodesford " bridge 
(Blackwater bridge) ; and so far by the king's highway to 
Herpesford ; and so by the little river from Herpesford as far 
as Chertsey ; and so by the Thames to Ham. 

The Close Rolls of 1275 show that the keeper of this forest 
received a considerable salary. Geoffrey de Picheford, con- 
stable of the castle, was ordered in that year to pay izd. daily 
to Robert de Say, whom the king had appointed chief forester 
and minister of the forest during good behaviour, in place of 
John Inglehard, deceased, for his expenses about that custody. 
In that year the foresters and verderers were busy in selecting 
oaks and beeches throughout the forest to be used for the 
impaling of Windsor park and the king's other works. A 
little later in the reign oaks were felled to be used in the 
making of a great barge for the king's ferry at Datchet. In 
1276 the constable of the Tower of London obtained thirty 
Windsor oaks to burn lime with for the works of the Tower. 

The impaling of the new park of Windsor seems to have 
been completed in 1278. In November of that year the keeper 
of Chute forest, Wilts, was informed by the king that he was 
sending one of his yeomen to take in that forest live deer to 
stock his park at Windsor, and that he was to permit as many 
to be taken as could be without damage to Chute forest. In 
the previous year the Close Rolls also supply the information 
that there were then wild (silvestres) bulls and cows in Windsor 
park ; the constable was ordered to effect their capture and 
sale, and to use the money towards the expenses of the king's 
children then staying at the castle. 

The keeper of Windsor forest received orders from 
Edward I. on 2Oth May, 1286, when the king was just about 


to cross the seas, to admit Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, his 
kinsman, to chase in that forest at pleasure, and to permit 
him to take deer, and to aid and counsel him in so doing. A 
record was to be kept of the number of the deer thus taken. 

The forest perambulations of 1299-1300 yield the following 
as to the Surrey side of this forest : 

"The perambulation of the forest of Windsor, in the county of 
Surrey, made on the Saturday next before the feast of St. Gregory 
the Pope, in the twenty-eighth year of the reign of king Edward, at 
Lambeth before Roger Brabancon, John of Berwick, Ralph of 
Hingham, William Inge, and John of Croxley, in the presence of 
Phillip de Sai, clerk of the justice of the forest, the foresters and 
verderers of the forest aforesaid, by the oath of William Aumbesas, 
John of Burstow, Robert of Bekwell, knights, Robert le Dol, Robert 
of Walton, William of Northwood, John Prodhomme, Robert att 
Send, Nicholas of Weston, Richard of Horton, Edmund of Utworth, 
and John of Farnham, who say upon their oath that the whole county 
of Surrey was forest in the time of king Henry, the great-grand- 
father of the king who now is, and the same king Henry died seised 
of it ; and so it remained forest until the fourth day of December in 
the first year of the reign of king Richard, who then disafforested a 
certain part of the same county by certain metes, which are contained 
in the charter of the same king Richard made concerning them, to 
wit, between Kent and the water which is called the Wey, and from 
the hill of Guild Down as far as the county of Surrey extends 
towards the south ; and the rest of the county aforesaid, to wit, 
beginning at the water of the Wey, as far as the county of Surrey 
extends, to the north of the hill of Guild Down, remained and is 
forest. And after that charter was made nothing was afforested or 
occupied by king Richard or by king John or by anybody else. 

" They say also that they do not know that any part of the county 
aforesaid was afforested by the aforesaid Henry, the great-grand- 
father of the king who now is." 

There was a good deal of fickleness shown by Edward III. 
and his advisers with regard to the Surrey part of the forest 
at the beginning of his reign, as shown by the entries on the 
Patent and Close Rolls. On 27th December, 1327, the recent 
perambulation of the Surrey forest was confirmed. The per- 
ambulation began at " Waymuthe," and thence along the 
Thames to " Ladenlakeshacehe," where the three counties of 


Surrey, Berks, and Bucks met ; thence to the eastern corner 
of Windsor Park, to the mill of Harpsford, to Thornhill, . . . 
and thence to Bridford, where the three counties of Surrey, 
Berks, and Hants met. This ratification concluded with the 
assertion that the whole county of Surrey was without the 
forest, and was so in the time of Henry, the king's great- 

At the same time a mandate was issued to the sheriff to 
have the king's letters patent read in full county court, the 
proclamation publicly proclaimed, and to cause it to be 
observed ; but saving to the king forty days from that date 
to chase the deer into his forest in places which, according 
to the perambulation, are without the forest. Another mandate 
of the like date was issued to the constable of Windsor Castle 
to use all diligence in chasing all such deer in Surrey into the 
king's forest within the forty days. 

The sheriff of Surrey was instructed on i5th October, 1329, 
to make summons for an eyre of forest pleas for that county 
at Guildford, on Monday after St. Andrew's Day. 

On 4th August, 1333, the Surrey disafforesting of six years 
earlier date, apparently based on hasty and insufficient in- 
formation, was annulled. Order was then issued to obtain 
full imformation as to the bounds of the Surrey forests in the 
time of the late king, and to cause them henceforth to be 
guarded by the like boundaries, and this notwithstanding 
the grant of 1527; for the king had understood that divers 
woods and open spaces in Surrey ought to be afforested, as 
was fully proved by divers inquisitions and memoranda in 
the treasury, and that the said woods and places under colour 
of the late grant had been disafforested to the king's manifest 

The forest justices (Sir John Ratcliffe and Sir Reginald 
Gray) sat at Guildford on 8th August, 1488. The keepers 
of the parks who were present were Sir Reginald Gray for 
the parks of Guildford and Henley ; Richard Pigot, for 
Poltenhall ; and William Mitchell, for Bagshot. 

Sir Thomas Bourchier was the keeper, with Sir William 
Norris, lieutenant, and William Orchard his deputy. One of 
the foresters was lately dead, but two foresters and one deputy 
were present. Henry Stokton and William Bantrum, the late 


verderers, were in attendance, as well as their successors, 
Henry Slyfeld and John Westbrook. 

The regarders numbered eighteen ; two of them were 
described as gentlemen. There were seven woodwards, each 
of whom returned omnia bene. The reeves and four-men of 
the townships of Ash, Byfleet, Chertsey, Egham, Frimley, 
Horsell, Pirbright, Thorpe, Windesham, Woking, and Worp- 
lesdon were in attendance, as well as thirteen free tenants. 

Among the offences dealt with at this eyre were the cutting 
down without licence of forty oaks within the forest at Pir- 
bright ; killing a great buck at Crowford bridge ; the killing 
of a hind calf with greyhounds by Thomas Forde of Pirbright, 
who was one of the foresters of the forest of Windsor ; the 
felling and removing of 400 oaks and 300 beeches by Thomas 
Abbot of Chertsey, without licence ; killing a stag with grey- 
hounds at Wanburgh ; and various instances of shooting at 
deer, or slaying them with bows and arrows, and setting nets 
for their capture. Ralph Baggley was fined IOOT. for being 
a common destroyer of pheasants and partridges and a taker 
of birds. Another transgressor had slain six pheasants with 
a hawk. 

The reeve and four-men of Chobham presented John Wode 
for following the craft of a tanner within the forest, and he 
was fined i2d. They also presented another man for having 
a warren, and he was mulcted in the like sum. 

The following particulars were supplied to the justices re- 
specting the deer of Guildford park during Henry VII. 's 
reign : 

" The sum of the Dere slayn by our Sovereyn lorde the kynge 
in the parke of Gylforde att the feste of Seynt Mychaell the fyrste 
yere of hys Reygne. 

Imprimis slayn of Dere of Auntyller xvj. 

Item the same season Ix doys. 

Item iij fones. 

Item ij prykettes. 

Item the same yere my lord Madurface iij doys and a prykett. 

Item Syr John Arundell a Doo. 

Item Master Bowchere ij Doys. 

Item Syr Thomas Mylborne a Do we. 

Item my lady of Lyncolne a Doo. 


Item Syr my lord Awdley a Doo. 

Item Syr Jamys Awdley ij Doys. 

Item ther dyede in moren xli doys and prykettys. 

Item ther dyede the same yere Cxxxv of fones. 

Item xj dere of Auntuller. 

Item the kynge killede in Som xxiij dere of Auntuller. 

Item my lord Grey Codnore a Bukke. 

Item my lorde madurface a Bukke. 

Item Syr John Arundell a Bukke. 

Item Master Bowchere and Syr John Wynfelde a Bukke. 

Item the Abbot of Westminster a Bukke." 

In the second of his reign Henry VII. killed in this park, 
between Michaelmas and All Saints, by his " oon persone " 
ten does and a fawn. Two does were sent to the king at 
Westminster on the Feast of All Saints. Six does were sent 
"to the Coronation of the Quene." Twenty does, eight 
bucks, and three sores were sent out as gifts during the year. 

A presentment was also made as to the park of Henley-in- 
the-Heath : 


" Thees bene the dere that have bene ded in moreyn and that hath 
bene slayn seyn the begynnyng of the Reigne of the Kinges grase 
that nowe is Kyng Henry the vij th . 

" Fyrst the Kynges grase kylled hymselff in the seyd parke of 
Henley wyth his Bowe and his bukhundes in the Fyrst yere of his 
Reigne. iiij bukken. 

" Item by his servauntes the same tyme the kyng being in the seid 
parke. vj male dere. 

" Item to the abbot of Westminster the same year j bukke. 

" Item sent to the Court by the Kynges Waraunt the fyrst yere of 
his Reygne in Wynter ij does. 

"Item delyvered to the abbot of Westminster the second yere of 
the Kynges grace j bukke. 

" Item delyvered to my Lord Prynce lyvynge at Farnham, the 
second year of the kynges grase in Wynter iij does. 

" Item delyvered to the seid abbot the thyrd yere of the kynges 
grase j Bukke. 

" Thees bene the morens in the seid parke. 

" In the fyrst yere of the Kynges grase dyed in moreyn in the 
seyd parke of Henley iiij fawyns, j doe, and a pryker. 

" Item in the second yere folowyng, j pryker, and ij faunes. 


" Item in the thyrd yere now last past, a soure and teg-ge. 
" Item now in faunsumty 6 dyed in fawnyngf. ij does. 
" Item delyvered to Master Bourghchyer for ij yere, ij Bukken. 
" Item Master John of Stanley killed in the seid parke j Bukke. 
" Item my lord of Derby servauntes killed in the seid parke 
j Tegg-e." 

The same justices, before they came to Guildford, had held 
the forest pleas for the Berkshire division of Windsor forest, 
at New Windsor, on 4th August, 1488. Sir Thomas Bourchier 
and Sir William Norris were respectively keeper and lieutenant, 
as in the Guilford division. There were also present bailiffs 
and deputies of the bailiwicks of Fenie Wood and Finchamp- 
stead, and bailiffs of the respective liberties of the bishops of 
Salisbury and Winchester, the bailiff of Elizabeth the Queen ; 
representative burgesses of Windsor ; the late and present 
verderers ; twelve regarders, six of whom were esquires ; and 
jurors for the hundreds of Bray, Cookham, and Sonning. 

Those that claimed at this eyre special liberties in the actual 
forest of Windsor were Elizabeth, Queen of England'; the 
bishops of Winchester and Salisbury ; the abbots of Reading, 
Abingdon, Waltham, Westminster, Stratford Langthorn, 
Cirencester, and Chertsey ; the priors of Hurley, Bisham, 
and Merton ; the prioresses of Bromehall and Ankerwyke, the 
dean and canons of Windsor, the provost and college of Eton, 
the dean and chapter of Salisbury, the mayor and citizens of 
New Windsor, the duchess of Norfolk, and two laymen. 

A singular case to come under any kind of forest court was 
that of John Pomfreth, the tenant of a mill-race (gurges}, at 
a place called Hornedroare; he was fined i2d. for not supplying 
drink to the inhabitants when making their Rogation-tide per- 
ambulation, according to custom. 

Henry VIII. was passionately fond of the chase and of sport 
in all its forms, so that it is not surprising to find various 
references to his experiences in this royal forest throughout 
the papers of his reign. His chief sporting companion was 
Sir William Fitzwilliam, and on him he conferred the keeper- 
ship of the Surrey side of the forest. Richard Weston was 
another of the hunting set, and on him, in 1511, the king 
conferred the lieutenancy of the castle and forest of Windsor, 
together with the office of bow-bearer. Another of his boon 


companions was made bailiff of Finchampstead, within the 
forest, which was then well supplied with red deer. Business 
was by him usually sacrificed to pleasure. At the end of 
July, 1526, Fitzwilliam writes from Guildford : "I received 
a packet of letters addressed to the king, which I took to His 
Majesty immediately ; but as he was going out to have a shot 
at a stag, he asked me to keep them until the evening." 

In August, 1528, Sir Thomas Heneage, in a letter to 
Wolsey, from Easthampstead, said that the king on the 
previous day had taken great pains with his hunting, from nine 
in the morning till seven at night, but only obtained one deer 
the greatest red deer killed by him or any of his hunters that 
year which he sent as a present to the Cardinal. Fitzwilliam, 
writing to Cromwell in August, 1534, having arrived that 
night at the Great Park, mentioned that he was in much 
comfort, as his keepers promised that the king should have 
great sport, and asked Cromwell to bring his greyhounds 
with him when he came to either Chertsey or Guildford. In 
January of the following year, Lord Sandys writes to Crom- 
well, in sore dread of the king's wrath, for young Trapnell 
had killed twenty of the king's deer on the borders of Windsor 

Towards the end of his reign, Henry VIII. made the last 
royal attempt to afforest a new district. But even his tyranni- 
cal disposition was restrained by statute, for he could afforest 
no man's estate against his will, and he therefore had to make 
private arrangements with owners to effect his purpose. 
When he was established at Hampton Court, the king desired 
to have a nearer hunting-ground than that adjoining Windsor 
or Guildford, and therefore he resolved to make forest, if 
possible, of all the country between Hampton and his new 
palace of Nonsuch, near Epsom. Partly by new statute and 
partly by his own headstrong will, he effected most of his 
purpose. In 1539 he conferred on the district forest rights 
and privileges, and called it the Honor of Hampton Court. 
In the following year he obtained from Parliament two Acts, 
the one " for the uniting of divers lordships and manors to the 
castle of Windsor," and the other "for the uniting of the 
manor of Nonsuch and divers other manors to the Honor of 
Hampton Court." But shortly after Henry's death this newly 


created honor was dechased, and the deer removed to 
Windsor forest. 

Of Queen Mary it is stated that on the Tuesday after her 
marriage, when she was at Windsor, a novel method of ' ' sport" 
was introduced. Toils were raised in the forest four miles in 
length, when a great number of deer, driven therein by 
the hounds and huntsmen, were slaughtered. 

Elizabeth was much more of a sportswoman than her sister. 
Under the guidance of her favourite, Sir Henry Neville, the 
queen frequently hunted in this forest. She remained keenly 
attached to this royal sport to the end of her days. In January, 
1699, Elizabeth wrote to Neville instructing him to give orders 
for restraint of killing game and deer in Mote and Sunninghill 
parks in Windsor forest during his absence as resident am- 
bassador in France. As late as 1602 she shot "a great and 
fat stag " at Windsor with her own hand, which was sent as 
a present to Archbishop Parker. 

The chief matter pertaining to Windsor forest under James I. 
was the elaborate and careful survey drawn up by John Norden, 
which was finished in 1607. There is a good abstract of this 
survey, with a reproduction of that part of his map (at the 
British Museum) relative to the Great Park, in Mr. Menzies' 
fine work on that part of the forest. Norden thus defines the 
limits of the forest: "This forest lyeth in Berkshire, Oxford- 
shire, Buckinghamshire, and Middlesex. The Tamis bounds 
it north, the Loddon weste, Brodforde river and Guldowne 
south, and the Waye river east." The Great Park had then 
a circumference of loj miles, and contained 3,650 acres within 
the counties of Berks and Surrey, whilst his estimate of 
the extent of the open forest was 24,000 acres. 

James raised the wrath of the residents by attempting, soon 
after his coming to England, to close the Little Park and 
Cranborne Chase against all comers; but "the squires and 
better sort," says Dixon, in Royal Windsor, "made private 
keys and entered like gentlemen of the highest quality ; the 
locks were exchanged, and they broke the fences with as little 
scruple as the tramps." 

Charles I. hunted here frequently at the beginning of his 
reign. In 1632 Noy, the king's attorney-general, styled by 
Carlyle "that invincible heap of learned rubbish," revived 


the forest pleas, and justice-seats were held both at Bagshotand 
Windsor. Every old formality was strictly observed ; at the 
opening each forester had to present his horn on bended knee 
to the chief justice in eyre, and each woodward his hatchet ; and 
these insignia of office were not returned until a fine of half a 
mark had been rendered. The revival of forest pleas in Surrey 
was bitterly resented. No part of Surrey had been treated as 


forest until Henry II. 's time, when almost the whole county 
was by degrees afforested. Richard I. found himself obliged 
to throw open again all eastward of the Wey, save the royal 
park and manor of Guildford, leaving the rest of the county 
to be attached to Windsor, under the title of the bailiwick of 
Surrey. But from that time onwards there had been more or 
less resistance to any Surrey afforesting outside the parks, 
and various sovereigns, particularly Elizabeth, had made im- 
portant concessions. From 1632 to 1642 many of the gentle- 


men of Surrey encouraged rather than checked outbreaks of 
daylight poaching, hunting in companies of eighty or a hun- 
dred ; at the latter date the exemption from forest law of the 
whole of Surrey, save Guildford park, was definitely accepted. 

In 1640, the grand jury of the county of Berks complained 
as to " the innumerable red deer in the forest (Windsor), which 
if they go on so for a few years more, will neither leave food 
nor room for any other creature in the forest." They also pro- 
tested against the rigid enactment of the forest laws and the 
inordinate fees exacted by some of the forest ministers. In 
the following year a great tumult arose ; the people round the 
New Lodge, in a riotous fashion, killed 100 fallow deer, in 
addition to some red deer, and threatened to pull down the 
pales of that park. The Earl of Holland was then constable of 
park and forest, and he obtained authority for the sheriff of 
Berks to raise the power of the county to apprehend the per- 
sons engaged in this riot. But in 1642 the Long Parliament 
took possession of Windsor. 

It is in Windsor Park, says Mr. Menzies, that "the oldest 
authenticated regular plantation in England can be shown." 
In 1625, Richard Daye wrote to Secretary Conway, mention- 
ing a proposal that he had previously made for "sowing 
convenient places in Windsor forest with acorns, which had 
been favourably received by the late king," and asking that 
the project might be laid before Charles I. To this letter he 
attached a statement to the effect that, in 1580, by order of Lord 
Burleigh, thirteen acres within Cranborne Walk had been 
impaled and sown with acorns, which had by that time (after 
forty-five years' growth) become u a wood of some thousands 
of tall young oaks, bearing acorns, and giving shelter to 
cattle, and likely to prove as good timber as any in the king- 
dom." It has been assumed, on excellent grounds, that the 
plantation here referred to is the large group of oaks at the 
'back of the park bailiff's house in the direction of Cranborne. 

Under the Commonwealth, although Sir Bulstrode White- 
lock, constable of the castle and keeper of the forest, was 
himself a sportsman, the deer disappeared from the Great 
Park, and only a few remained in the forest. Much of the 
finest timber was felled, but chiefly for navy purposes. At the 
Restoration, Charles II., as has been already seen, took some 


trouble to re-stock many of the royal parks and forests with 
both red and fallow deer. In this Windsor had its full share. 

In November, 1731, the deer of Windsor forest numbered 
1,300; in 1806 they had dwindled to 318. In 1813 came the 
disafforesting Act for Windsor, and in the following year 
a troop of the Horse Guards and a detachment of the 5th 
Infantry were employed for two days in sweeping through the 
wild heaths and dells that were about to be enclosed, and 
driving thence the deer into the parks ; but in this rough 
process many were slaughtered. 

At the present day the acreage of the Great Park is about 
3,000 acres, and it contains, in round numbers, 1,000 fallow 
and loo red deer. Cranborne Park, though part of the Great 
Park, has a pale of its own, and contains a small herd of white 
red-deer ! 


IN early historic days, almost the whole of Sussex, together 
with considerable parts of Kent and Surrey, formed one 
great forest, called by the Britons Coit Andred, from its 
vast extent. The Saxons called it Andredes-weald, which 
was doubtless adapted from the Anderida Silva of the Roman 
Itineraries. The Saxon Chronicle, under date 893, gives its 
extent as 120 miles long from east to west, and thirty miles in 
breadth. That considerable part of the county which remained 
forest or open till much later days some, indeed, until the 
present time was known as the Forest Ridge ; it formed the 
elevated district of the north-eastern part of the county, and 
stretched in a north-westerly direction along the borders of 
Surrey. The principal sections of this are still known as the 
forests of St. Leonard and of Ashdown. 

Young, in his Agricultural Survey, at the end of the 
eighteenth century, said : " A great proportion of these hills is 
nothing better than the poorest barren sand, the vegetable 
covering consisting of ferns, heath, etc. St. Leonard's Forest 
contains 10,000 acres of it, and Ashdown 18,000 more, besides 
many thousand acres in various other parts of the county." 

Ashdown forest is described by Mr. Turner, in a good 
paper contributed to the collections of the Sussex Archaeologi- 
cal Society (vol. xiv.), as consisting of about 10,000 acres, 
situated in the parishes of Maresfield, Fletching, East Grin- 
stead, Hartfield, Withyham, and Buxted. It formed part of 
the honor of Pevensey, and from 53 Henry III. was invested 
in the Crown in perpetuity, and hence was a technical forest 
under forest law, a position that it did not lose when it came to 
John of Gaunt in 44 Edward III. It reverted to the Crown, with 



the rest of the Duchy of Lancaster, until the time of Charles II., 
when it was formally disafforested, and found its way into the 
hands of speculators in waste lands. Various Tudor com- 
missions show that the timber suffered severely from the 
inroads made on it to supply charcoal for the iron foundries. 

In the early part of Edward I.'s reign, the free chace and 
warren of Ashdown were held by the king's mother. Pro- 
ceedings were taken in 1283 against divers persons for hunting 
and carrying away deer and rabbits from her park at Maresfield. 
In 1297, Edward I. granted Thomas Paynel licence for life to 
hunt with his own dogs, the fox, hare, cat, and badger in the 
king's forest of Ashdown except during fence month ; it 
was also specially stipulated that he did not take deer, nor 
course in the king's warrens. On 3Oth July of that year, the 
king appointed Walter Waldeshef to the bailiwick of the 
forestership of Ashdown, on condition that he answered for the 
same in like manner as his predecessors. Ashdown was a 
favourite hunting resort of James I., and it was well stocked with 
deer. The Parliamentary Survey of its seven wards is extant, 
as well as a great variety of papers of earlier date. The his- 
tory of this and the other forests of Sussex yet remains to 
be written, though certain contributions in that direction were 
made by Mr. W. S. Ellis in his Parks and Forests of Sussex, 
published in 1885. 

St. Leonards Forest lies north-east of Horsham, and forms 
part of the great parish of Beeching. It would be more correct 
to speak of St. Leonards Chace ; the whole body of the forest 
law never prevailed here, as it was granted in early days by 
the Crown to the Braose family. An entry in the Patent Rolls 
of ist September, 1295, relative to a raid in this district on deer, 
hares, rabbits, pheasants, herons, and fish, when the owner 
was absent on the king's service in Wales, styles it the free 
chace of William Braose, called the forest of St. Leonards 
(liberam chaciam Willelmi de Breiaosa que vocatur foresta sancti 
Leonardi}. Four years later a like entry on the same rolls rela- 
tive to deer poaching describes it as the free chace of William 
Braose at St. Leonards. 

The forest of Arundel, though of limited extent, was well 
stocked, and formed an important adjunct of the honor of 
Arundel. The forest pertained to the earls of Arundel, as is 


stated in the Close Rolls of 1206, but during a long minority 
in the time of Henry III., and again in the time of Edward I., 
came under the control of the Crown. The chief point of 
interest in its history is the disputes that arose as to the deer 
between the earls and the archbishops of Canterbury, who 
claimed the hunting. There was an appeal to Rome on the 
subject in 1238, and it was not until 1258 that the renewed dis- 
putes were finally settled by an agreement that the archbishop 
might, on giving notice to the forest ministers, hunt once a year 
when going to or returning from his manor of Slindon, with six 
greyhounds, but with no other kind of dogs, nor with bows ; 
and that if more than one beast was taken by the party, the 
remainder were to be handed over to the earl. It was also 
stipulated that the earl and his heirs should annually deliver 
thirteen bucks and thirteen does to the archbishop at the 
proper season. 



SO much that is good of its kind has been printed concern- 
ing the beautiful district of the New Forest, that only two 
or three pages are allotted to it in this work. Mr. Wise's 
admirable The New Forest , its History and Scenery (1863) long 
remained the standard book on the subject; but two more recent 
works have corrected some errors and given much fresh in- 
formation. One of these is the joint article of over sixty large 
pages, by the Hon. G. W. Lascelles and Mr. Nisbet, on 
Forestry and the New Forest in vol. ii. of the Victoria History 
of Hampshire (1903); and the other is the wholly delightful 
and thorough book, rich in illustrations, by Mr. Horace 
G. Hutchinson, which was published in 1904. To this may be 
added the mention of a good article, with plans, descriptive of 
the changing area of the forest, with its laws and customs, by 
the late Mr. Moens, which appeared in the Archceological 
Journal for March, 1903. 

The New Forest may be described, in broad terms, as the 
south-western corner of Hants, bounded by the Southampton 
water and the Solent on the east and south, and by the Dorset 
and Wilts borders on the west and north. Its extreme length 
is twenty-one miles, and its greatest width twelve miles ; it 
covers 92,365 acres, which include 27,620 acres of private 
property. Put in other words, this means that the Crown or 
public lands of the New Forest consist of about 100 square 
miles, whilst the private lands occupy about forty square miles. 
Within this, notwithstanding the considerable extent of the 
woods, are several great stretching heaths and many an un- 
timbered glade. 





In Hampshire, as elsewhere, the Saxon kings reserved 
large tracts of country, well supplied as a rule with woods 
and thickets, for the purpose of sport and hunting, whilst 
at the same time they realised the importance of preserving 
the woodlands for the pannage of the swine. Under the 
Conqueror, the New Forest increased in area, and had its 
special bounds assigned ; but stories set on foot by early 
chroniclers as to William's reckless cruelty in destroying 
scores of churches and burning out villages for the sake 
of hunting, can readily be shown to be gross and absurd 
exaggerations. The later story of this forest, as set forth 
by Messrs. Wise, Lascelles, and Hutchinson, is a tale of 
continued aggression by private owners and by squatters, of 
grievous jobbery by forest officials, of Crown mortgages, 
of much destruction of timber and deer, and finally of various 
parliamentary inquiries in 1831, 1850, 1875, and at yet more 
recent dates. The forest is at present governed by the Act 
of 1877. Scotch firs and pines that now abound were first 
planted here in 1776. 

The red deer, the fallow deer, and the roe deer are all still 
present in the New Forest, but in very much reduced numbers; 
the last-named are strays that first found their way here from 
Milton, Dorset, in 1870. In the days when Gilpin wrote his 
delightful volumes on Forest Scenery (1790) there was a semi- 
wild breed of bristly pigs in parts of the forest, which were 
supposed to be hybrid descendants of the wild boar (Plate VIL). 

Although there has been so much good writing on the 
history of the New Forest, there are sources of further in- 
teresting and original history at the Public Record Office 
which no one has hitherto tapped. Space can be found for 
only a few instances of such information. 

The accounts of John Randolf, keeper of the forest, for 1306, 
show that there was much of pasturage in various parts of the 
forest, irrespective of general rights of agistment. There was, 
for instance, considerable sale of corn and hay from the manor 
of Lyndhurst in the centre of the forest ; eight oxen of that 
manor were sold for 56^. Iron used in repair of the farm carts 
of the manor cost 2s. lod. , two iron plough-shoes (for tipping the 
wooden shares) cost 8^., and the shoeing of two cart-horses i8d. 
The full accounts for this year are beautifully written and in 


most excellent condition ; no antiquary would grudge the 
wage of the keeper's clerk, which is entered as one mark, 
"according to ancient custom." The keeper himself received 
a salary of 10. The forest tithe, payable to the church of 
Salisbury, was ^4 3-r. The most interesting entry of that 
year is the sum of 8 15^. 8^., which was expended in repairing 
the court house, or manor house of Lyndhurst, against the 
coming of the king ut patet per particuV but unfortunately 
the particulars are lacking. The manor house of Ringwood 
was at the same time put in order to be ready for the royal 
advent ; among the items is the entry of a supply of plaster 
of Paris. 

Forest pleas for the New Forest were held at Southampton 
on Monday next after the Translation of St. Thomas the 
Martyr, 1330, before John Mantravers. On the first day of the 
session, which extended over twenty-one days, no fewer than 
ninety-seven essoins or excuses for non-attendance were put in 
for the substantial reason of death. In each of these cases 
appearance had to be made by some relative or other qualified 
person who testified to the death. The first five names stand 
thus : 

" Essoines de Morte 

Petrus de la Hoese per Petrum de la Hoese militem. 

Walterus Waleys per Willielmum Loocras. 

Nicholas de Ivele per Rogerum de Ivele, Forester de Wolmer. 

Walterus atte Broke per Nicholam atte Broke. 

Walterus Stretchhose per Ricardum Stretchhose." 

The venison pleas of the New Forest were presented by Sir 
William de Beauchamp, keeper of the forest, for the term 
of six years, in conjunction with Andrew de Camerton, his 
lieutenant, and John de Romsey, John de Brymore, Richard 
atte Hanger, and John Niernuyt, verderers. The venison 
presentations were concerned with the death of 22 does, 10 
bucks, 3 hinds, 2 harts, and 6 fawns, in addition to several 
cases in which the numbers of the head of game taken off were 
unknown. The fines imposed for these venison trespasses by 
the justices varied from i2d. to 2os. The number of such 
cases is by no means excessive, considering that the oldest 
offence went back to 1284. It must also be remembered that 


there must have been numerous cases struck out, because the 
delinquent or delinquents were dead. One of the more excep- 
tional and interesting cases is that of two poachers who, in 
July, 1325, hunted in the New Forest with nine greyhounds 
and a mastiff, killing two does and a fawn ; they loaded them 
on a white mare, when they were attached by the foresters and 
committed, together with the mare, which was of the value 
of 5-r., to the custody of Simon de Wynton, the sheriff of the 
county. When the eyre was held Simon was called upon 
not only to account for his prisoners, but for the 5-s 1 ., the 
value of the mare. But Sheriff Simon was dead, and Sir 
Richard de Wynton, who held his lands, had to put in an 
appearance and hand over the value of the white mare to the 

The list of presentments of vert trespassers is a very long 
one, covering both sides of four membranes. It opens with 
two cases, in one of which three beeches, worth 3^., had been 
felled, and in the other two oaks, worth 2^.; in each instance, 
the offender had to pay izd. fine, the value having pre- 
viously been paid at the local woodmote court. The usual 
value put on oaks, roers, and beeches was is. each. Occa- 
sionally the oaks must have been of considerable size ; in one 
case an oak was valued at 2S., and in another at 3$. ^d. A cart- 
load of green wood of white thorn was valued at 6d. 

The following is a copy of a warrant for timber from Beau- 
lieu, addressed by Henry VII. to the Earl of Arundel, the 
keeper of the New Forest : 

"By the king 

"We wil and charge you that unto our trusty and right wel- 
beloved Cousin the erl of Ormond or unto the bringer herof in his 
name ye deliver or doo to be delivered twelf Okes convenable for 
tymbre to be taken within our Baiffship of Bewley in cure Forest 
called the New Forest or in such places within the same Forest 
as oure said Cousin shall thinke moost metely and convenient for him, 
and these oure lettres shalbe yor Warrant. Geven undre oure 
signet at oure Citie of Winchestere the xix dey of October the second 
yere of oure Reign. 

"To o r Right trusty and right welbeloved Cousin Therl of 
Arundell warden of our Newe Forest in our Countie of Suth'ton 
and to his Lieutenant and keepers there." 


Among the presentments at an eyre temp. Henry VII. are 
the following : 

"The bayly of goddyshell shewyth that John Colend the bayly of 
Godshyll Kellyd a bukke in Somer in the viij th yere of Kyng Henry 
the vij th and a doo the same somer wyth a Arrowe and caryed awaye 
the Flesshe wythowte lycens of ony keper. Item the same John 
Colend kylled a hert in the sayd baylywekke with an Arrowe in the 
yere aforesayd and caryed away the flesshe withowte lycens of ony 

" In the viij th yere of y e regne of Kyng Henry the vij th y e xij th day 


of Junii Rychard Carter yoman of Bewly come into the Este bayly 
and there he toke a rede dere and caryed it away. 

" In d that S r Wylliam Holmes, prest of Sarum, come into the bayly 
at Fytcham the Monday next aftyr holy Rode day the viij th yere of 
Kyng Henry the vij th and there wyth hys greyhundys kellyd a Sowre 
wythowte leve of ony keper. 

"Also Rychard Kymbrege of Mychwood kylled ij hyndes calves 
wyth hys howndys wyth owte leve of ony keper in the vij th yere 
of Kyng henry. 

" In d that S r Edward Wellyby, prest, came into the bayly at 
Fyrtham the Satyrday next after Saynt Bartylmewes day the 
viij tu yere of Kyng Henry the vij th and there wyth hys grehowyds 


kylled iij bukkys, a preket and a doo wyth owte ony lycens or autoryte 
of ony keper. 

" Presentyd by a offycer that one Robart Dyer otherwise called 
Robart Foster the xv th day of October the viij th yere of Kyng Henry 
the vij th come into the Newe Forest that is to say to Fette Thurnes 
within the bayly of Battramsley and there fellyd and caryed away 
the nowmbyr of xij lode of grene thurnes. The said prisoner appered 
and deposed the contrary . . . and put in plege for his fyne." 

The last of these extracts refers to a hard case when Charles I. 
was attempting to revive forest law. 

In November, 1639, Henry Earl of Holland, chief justice 
in eyre, reduced on petition the fine of .30 for a venison 
offence in the New Forest in the case of one Harmon Rogers 
to 5, and ordered his release from prison on giving sureties 
to be of good behaviour towards the forest. The petition set 
forth that Harmon was 

"a miserable poore man in lamentable distresse, hath a poore wife 
and vij small children, had great losse by fire, one of his children is 
a creeple, hath a blind man to his father that wholly lyeth upon him, 
hath been twice imprisoned for this one fault, and in his present 
durance is ready to starve for want of food and so are his children 
at home, at this present 30 li in debt, and hath no meanes in the world 
to releive himself his blind father wife and vij childrene but his pain- 
full labour and never did or will, as God shall help him, commit any 
fault or offense against his Majesties game but onely one. " 


In addition to the New Forest, Hampshire had two other 
large forest areas Alice Holt and Woolmer, and the forest 
of Bere. 

Alice Holt, a comparatively modern and unfortunate cor- 
ruption of Axisholt, and Woolmer, though apparently always 
separated by a small strip of non-forest land, were practically 
one, and formed a considerable stretch of country, chiefly wood- 
land, on the borders of Surrey and Sussex. They were almost 
invariably under the same general control, though having 
their separate minor forest ministers. Thus, in 1217, Axis- 
holt and Wulvemar formed one bailiwick in the charge of 
Robert de Venoit, and again, in the beginning of Edward I.'s 


reign, both Alice Holt and Woolmer forests were under the 
same keeper, Adam Gurdon. They seem to have been well 
stocked with both red and fallow deer, and also heavily tim- 
bered. Adam Gurdon, in 1273, had to deliver two bucks at 
Windsor Castle, as the king's children were staying there. In 
1276 and 1277 the same keeper was instructed to give facilities 
to a royal huntsman who was sent down with his dogs to take 
harts for the king's household in the forests of Alice Holt and 
Woolmer ; and in the following year he had to dispatch 
thirty oaks fit for timber towards the rebuilding of Winchester 

The sixth report of the woods and forests commission, issued 
in 1790, devotes eighty-eight folio pages to these two Hamp- 
shire forests. The commissioners cite the perambulation of 
this joint forest made in 1300 as reduced from the wider limits 
of earlier reigns. A perambulation of 1 1 Charles I. gives 
practically the same bounds. The whole area within the 
forest is returned as 15,493 acres, but of that quantity 6,799 
acres were in private hands. Reference is made to a justice 
seat held n Charles I., and to swainmote courts in the 
reigns of James I. and Charles I. The administration and 
customs of the forest corresponded with the general use. 
Since the year 1777 the timber had been very largely used for 
the navy ; it was taken by road, about ten miles, to Godal- 
ming, where the river Wey was navigable, and thence to the 
dockyards on the Thames. The lieutenant of the forest 
(Lord Stawell) considered the deer his own, There were then 
about 800 fallow deer in Alice Holt ; the red deer used to be 
found in Woolmer Forest, but the latter were removed to 
Windsor about 1760. In the appendix there is a list of the 
lieutenants or keepers of the forest from 45 Elizabeth, and 
very full particulars as to the sale, extent, and value of the 
timber. All kinds of cattle were admitted to pasture save 


The forest of Bere extended northwards from the Portsdown 
Hills. According to a perambulation made in 1688, it included 
about 16,000 acres. The southern ward, in early days, often 
went by the name of Porchester forest. 


When pleas of this forest were held in September, 1490, 
at Winchester, it was returned that Sir George Nevill was 
keeper ; Sir James Awdley, lieutenant ; Ralph Shorter, 
forester, and John Wilton, his deputy ; William Knight, 
ranger ; and William Froste and John Hamond, verderers. 
William Mody and his fellows were present as regarders, and 
there were two juries sworn of the men of the hundreds of 
Somborne and Buddlesgate. 

For fee timber Richard Curson, as deputy of the justices, 
received six beeches ; the keeper, two roers, and his deputy, 
a beech ; the lieutenant, a roer ; the ranger, a beech ; each 
verderer, an oak and a beech ; the regarders, two beeches and 
and a roer ; the two sessional clerks, four beeches ; and the 
under-sheriff, a roer. Richard Curson also received a buck. 

At a swainmote of West Bere, held on 5th June, 1475, 
before John Whitehede and John Hamond, the verderers, 
Robert Bailly, forester, presented that John Ewerby, lord of 
Farley, claimed to have the right to deer that escaped into his 
lordship, and that he had killed several head at Hambledon 
and Queentree. 

At another swainmote, held on ist June, 1488, before 
William Frost and John Hamond, verderers, Robert Bailly, 
the forester, again presented the lord of Farley for having 
killed several does and fawns in the previous August in the 
woods of West Bere. He also presented Richard Mathew, 
lately parish chaplain of Sparsholt, and then living at Crawley, 
for having killed a doe with bow and arrows. A more serious 
charge was preferred against a yeoman and a miller of Win- 
chester, who with a large number of disorderly persons hunted 
the forest with greyhounds and two other kinds of dogs, 
namely " rachys et kenettes," to the grave destruction of the 

The woods and forests commissioners' thirteenth report, 
issued in 1792, is devoted to this forest. It is described as in 
the south-east part of the county and within eight miles of 
Portsmouth. The perambulation of 1300 is printed in the 
appendix. The forest was then divided into two walks, the 
East and the West. Following the boundaries laid down in 
1688, the commissioners estimated the area as at least twenty- 
five square miles, about a third of which was enclosed, and 


the rest open forest land. The parishes within the forest and 
certain neighbouring ones turned out horses, horned cattle, 
and ringed swine at all times of the year, but no sheep. The 
officers were a warden-in-fee by Crown grant ; four verderers, 
chosen by the county freeholders ; a ranger, a steward of the 
swainmote court, and two keepers for each walk, all appointed 
by the warden during pleasure ; twelve regarders chosen, if 
required by the county freeholders; and two agisters appointed 
annually, at the swainmote court. There were about 200 
fallow deer in the East Walk, and about fifty in the West 
Walk. A court book was extant from the year 1685, but no 
court had been held since 1769, when it could not be opened 
as no verderers attended. Extensive encroachments were 
being made, and the timber and underwood of the Crown 
lands comparatively unguarded. The commissioners strongly 
urged that the district should be disafforested. The under- 
keeper of the West Walk testified that until recently the deer 
were regularly browsed with "holly, ivy, and the tops of 
thorn bushes, when the season required it." 

Reference is made in the general section on later forest 
history to the great chase or park that pertained to the Bishops 
of Winchester at Waltham. 




THERE is clear evidence that the forest of Clarendon, 
Wilts, formed part of the royal demesne in pre-Norman 
days. The nuns of Wilton, at the time of the Domesday 
Survey, had a customary right in the wood of Milchet to four- 
score loads of firewood, pannage for fourscore swine, together 
with as much timber as was requisite for keeping their houses 
and fences in repair. The parks of Milchet and Buckholt and 
the forest of Panshet were original members of Clarendon 
forest according to the thirteenth-century Hundred Rolls. In 
the interesting account given in Hoare's county history, it is 
stated that the earliest general view of this forest is to be found 
in these rolls of the end of Henry III. and beginning of Edward I. 
But this is scarcely correct, for the Close Rolls of the early part 
of the reign of Henry III. abound in references to the forest and 
its component members, as might naturally be expected from 
the fact of Clarendon being such a favourite residence of our 
kings in the thirteenth century. 

The timber of the forest was a great boon to the district, 
and freely granted by the king for ecclesiastical and other 
purposes. Six oaks were granted in 1222 to Gilbert de Lacy 
for building a chapel in his court at Britford ; in 1223, 
fourteen large pieces of timber (vj posies iiij pannas et iiij 
*solivas) from the rootfallen or cablish trees to make a granary 
at Eblebourn ; in 1224, all the cablish timber, not yet sold, 
for the fabric of the cathedral church of New Sarum, which 
had been begun four years before ; in 1230, three oaks to the 
prioress of Amesbury for making the nuns' stalls, and five 
oaks to help the Franciscan friars in building their house at 
Salisbury; and in 1231, five good oaks out of Milchet wood 



for the abbess of Romsey to make planks for the dormitory, 
and two oaks for the prioress of Amesbury to mend the quire 
stalls. As to wood for fuel, the Bishop of Salisbury obtained 
a grant of forty loads in 1224; Walter Fitz-Peter obtained 
three dead trees (tria bona sicca robora folia non ferentid) for 
his hearth, in 1230; and the nuns of Amesbury five loads of 
firewood in 1233, in addition to their customary privilege of 

During the like period the orders for timber from this 
forest for the works at the palace and park of Clarendon were 
numerous, and in 1223, after the great gale, the large sum 
of 40 from the sale of the rootfallen trees of this forest 
was appropriated to the works at Winchester Castle. 

Among the grants of deer from this forest, may be mentioned 
a grant in 1223 of hunting ten bucks to the Earl of Salisbury, 
and a gift of four does to the Bishop of Salisbury in the 
following year. In 1228 one Savory de Malo Leone had a 
royal grant from Clarendon of five live does; and in 1229 
William Earl of Pembroke obtained'' twenty Clarendon does 
towards stocking his park at Hampstead. The supply of 
fallow deer was evidently considerable in this forest, but there 
is no record of red deer. 

At an inquisition of the hundred of Alderbury, in 1255, the 
jurors returned that the forest of Clarendon was well warded, 
but that the park of Milchet was then waste through the king's 
frequent gifts and sales, and through supplying the works at 
Clarendon and Salisbury. The jurors of 1275 returned that 
the king held this forest in his own hands. John de 
Grymstede held the manor of Plaitford by serjeanty of 
warding the park of Milchet ; Jordan de Laverstoke held 
land at Laverstoke, and Edmund de Milford at Milford 
by finding respectively a forester for Clarendon ; and Henry 
de Heyraz by finding a keeper for the king's running hounds 
(canes heyricii]. 

The royal gifts and orders as to wood from Clarendon forest 
were almost as profuse in Edward I.'s time as in that of his 
predecessor, particularly at the beginning of his reign. In 
1275, the king granted four oaks to the priory of Mottisfont, 
and six oaks to one William de Fennes, as well as ordering 
twenty oaks out of Milchet wood for joists (gistas) and eight 


oaks for shingles (cindulas] for the works at Clarendon. In 
1276, the bailiff of Clarendon forest had orders to supply the 
sheriff of Wilts with four oaks fit for timber, to enable him to 
rebuild the king's mill under the castle of Old Sarum, which 
had been thrown down by the force of the river ; thirty oaks 
were granted to the abbess of Wilton towards the building of 
her church, and ten cartloads of brushwood to the Domini- 
cans of Wilton. In the same year orders were given for 
supplying forty oaks for shingles for roofing the new works at 
Clarendon, and also sixty beams of timber to make rafters 
(chevrones\ for Queen Eleanor, to be used in the buildings 
at Lyndhurst. In 1277, the queen had a further grant of 
twenty oaks out of Milchet park to make laths (latas] for the 
use of her manor house of Lyndhurst, of the king's gift. It is 
curious to find timber being imported into the centre of the 
New Forest ; it seems to imply that there was at that date very 
little wood suitable for timber in the great Hampshire forest. 

The grants of timber were not so numerous in the reign of 
Edward II. Among them may be mentioned orders to the 
keeper of Clarendon forest, in 1320-1, to deliver to the 
sheriff for the repair of the king's water-mills below the castle 
of Old Sarum thirty oaks and twenty beeches. The beeches 
were to be felled in Buckholt wood, and as there are other 
references to the beeches of Buckholt in the reigns of 
Richard II., Edward IV., and Henry VII., it seems likely that 
Buckholt was almost if not entirely a wood of beeches. 

The adjacent small forest of Groveley was attached to that of 
Clarendon early in the fourteenth century. A return of the 
sales of the underwood for the last four years is entered on the 
Great Roll at Michaelmas, 1333. It was evidently the habit to 
clear out the undergrowth of a certain number of acres, re- 
presenting different sized coppices each year. The following 
is a table of the sales and average. The total for the four years 
is 116 15-$-. \o\d. : 


s. d. 

s. d. 


... 25 acres 

. 20 19 8 

8 acres 



... 27 ,, 

..21 50 

24 ,, ir. . 



30 ,, 

.. 22 19 8 

12 ,, 3r. . 

.. 2 17 4! 


... 40 ,, ir. . 

33 15 8 

23 n 3r 



The yearly sale of this undergrowth must have been a boon 
to the neighbourhood, for where particular records of sales 
exist, as they do among the Exchequer accounts for most of the 
reign of Edward III., it is found that the wood was purchased 
as a rule in quite small lots. Thus, in 1346, when the wood of 
the coppice by Canonpath, close to the small priory of Ivy- 
church, which stood within the forest, was sold for 17 yj. id., 
there were forty-three purchases, the largest sum being 
26s. 8d. 

An indenture made at the market of Salisbury in 1360, 
between Robert Russel, lieutenant of Roger Earl March, 
keeper of the forest and park of Clarendon, and the two ver- 
derers of the same, with regard to the sale of oak and beech at 
Buckholt, mention is made of the foresters who had to be 
maintained. They were eight in number, namely, two each 
for the forests of Buckholt and Groveley, one for the park of 
Milchet, and three for the park of Clarendon ; their pay was 
to be at the rate of 2d. a day. There were also two labourers 
at \\d. a day, whose chief duty it was to keep the pales or 
park fence in order. In one document of this date these men 
are termed "palyers," and at a later date " palers." It is 
stipulated that all these men were to be paid by the verderers 
at the rate of 365 days to the year ; that is to say, their wages 
were due for Sundays and holy days as well as on working 
days. Several accounts of the reigns of Edward III. and 
Richard II. show a large expenditure on hay for the sustenance 
of the deer during the winter. This was quite an exceptional 
forest expense, and only resorted to for the game in forests or 
parks frequented by royalty. For the most part their winter 
food consisted of the deer-browse or clippings from the forest 

The dean and chapter of Salisbury had the tithe of the 
venison of this forest granted to them by charter of Henry II., 
confirmed by several subsequent kings. There is an entry 
among the chapter records of the arrival of fifteen deer for 
the cathedral clergy in one year of Richard II.'s reign, when 
the capture of deer had amounted to 150. 

The records of several large forests, where they must have 
abounded, are destitute of any reference to conies or rabbits. 
But in the case of Clarendon they were repeatedly mentioned 


in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and once or twice in 
the thirteenth century. In the time of Edward III. the warrens 
seem to have been the perquisite of the chief keeper. In 1495 
the sum of 100 received of the " Fermour of the Coneys in 
Clarendon " was an item of the revenue assigned for the 
expenses of the king's household. In the time of Charles I. 
the warrens were worth upwards of ,200 a year. 

Parliament was petitioned in 1388 by the commonalty and 
inhabitants of Salisbury complaining that the forest officials 
of Clarendon had of late years appointed certain of the citizens 
to act as vendors of the underwood, to their great damage and 
annoyance, and praying relief. A favourable reply was given, 
to the effect that such duties were never to be imposed on those 
living outside the forest bounds, save by the king's special 

Detailed accounts are extant for the year 1442 of the wood 
sales at Buckholt and Milchet. They were sent up to London 
in a leather bag or wallet, in which they still remain in excel- 
lent condition (Accts. Exch., Q.R. ^y). Richard Ambros and 
William Colyn were this year instructed to fell 400 beeches in 
Buckholt and 200 oaks in Milchet for the repairs of the 
manor houses, lodges, and park pales. Sir John Stourton 
was at that time lieutenant to the Duke of Gloucester, who 
was keeper. The schedule shows that the beeches realised 
from 2s. to 2s. 6d. each ; two selling for 5^. , four for 8s., six for 
14^., ten for zos., another ten for 25^., one for 2s. 4^., etc. 
The oaks were sold in larger lots, five in all ; three lots of 
sixty each all realised 4. IOT., whilst two lots of ten were sold 
for a total of 30^. 

A warrant to the sheriff of Wilts of i Richard III. (1483) 
charged him to pay to the seven keepers of the forests and 
parks of Clarendon, Buckholt, Milchet, and Groveley zd. a 
day, and to the two parkers of the park of Clarendon id. a day 
for their wages. The sheriff was also to buy yearly in the 
summer season "as moche haye as shall amounte unto the 
some of x/z or within," which was to be stored for winter use 
in the barn of the park. 

Clarendon swainmotes held during the year 1487 include 
presentments for carrying off iiij palebordys de la Parke pale de 
Clarendon; pasturing six pigs; killing a doe and fawn with 


greyhounds ; and for being a common hunter both by day and 
night with ferrets and snares. Among the officials present at 
the Clarendon swainmotes were two palers (palatiarii}, who 
were responsible for the due upholding of the park fence. 

On 2ist August, 1487, the forest pleas for this forest and its 
members was held at New Sarum before Justices Ratcliffe 
and Grey. 

An interval of eighteen years had elapsed since the pleas 
had been held, for the last justice seat was in 9 Edward IV. 
(1469). The attendance of officials of Clarendon forest or 
park was considerable : Thomas Arundell, the keeper ; Sir 
T. Milborne, the lieutenant, and Walter Parker his deputy ; 
Roger Holes, the ranger, and John Mue his deputy ; John 
Shotter, the launder, and William Foster his deputy ; the four 
foresters, one for each of the four bailies ; the two verderers, 
Roger Bulkeley and Druce Mompesson, both entered as 
esquires ; four woodwards ; and twelve regarders. 

For the forest or park of Milchet there were a separate set 
of officials : Edmund Earl of Arundel was the keeper, and 
there were also a deputy lieutenant, two verderers, two 
rangers and a forester, as well as woodwards and regarders. 

There were also present woodwards of three outlying 
districts, and one for the forest of Groveley, together with the 
bailiffs of five different hundreds wherein parts of the forests 
of Clarendon and Milchet were situated. The whole list was 
signed by Sir John Turbervyle, the sheriff, who was, of course, 
bound to meet the justices. 

The customary perquisites of the officials were enumerated. 
The keeper of Clarendon was entitled each year to one roer 
and two bucks, and each forester and ranger to a roer and 
two oaks. For Milchet the verderers had two roers and a 
buck, the forester one roer and his deputy the same, the 
ranger one roer, the regarders a buck and a roer to be divided 
among them, and the clerk of the Her two roers. 

The Austin priory of Ivychurch, founded by Henry II. 
within the forest of Clarendon, appears to have been estab- 
lished for the twofold object of providing a spiritual centre for 
the denizens of the forest, and for the needs of the royal 
household at their Clarendon seat. Various early charters 
provide for the canons being held responsible for the religious 


services in the several Clarendon chapels. In addition to 
early general grants of pasturage which the canons enjoyed 
throughout the forest, Henry III., in 1252, provided that they 
should have in every year that the forest was agisted twenty 
swine with their litters to feed on the mast, free of pannage 
charges, provided they were ringed ; but there were to be 
no pigs allowed in. the forest during those years when it was 
not agisted. Four years later the king granted them a piece 
of ground of considerable size adjoining their priory, known 
by the unattractive name of Filthycroft, with leave to enclose 
it with ditch and hedge, but only in accord with the fixed 
custom of the forest that permitted of the entrance and return 
of a deer and her fawns at due seasons. Edward II., in 1317, 
granted the priory right of pasturage in the forest for forty 
bulls and cows at a rental of 56^. 

The following interesting memorandum of warrant venison 
and vert since the last iter was presented to the justices at 
the 1487 pleas by the lieutenant of the forest : 

M d of waruntes shewed by the leuetenaunte of Claryngdon for 
veneson and verde in Claryngdon 

by waruntes of King Edward [iv] 

j buk the x th yere of his reygne 

ij bukkes the xiiij ,, 

xij doyn the xvj ,, 

ij bukkes the xvij ,, 

iij bukkes the xviij ,, 

j buk y e xx fi ,, 

ij bukes the same yere 

iiij bukkes the same yer 

j buk the same yere 


iij (60) quicke dere ye xxj th yere 
xix doyn the same yere 


ij ccix (2209) ded in moreyn the same yere 

A buk by warante w*out date 

vj lodes of quicke dere the xxij th yere 

ij bukkes the xxj th yere 

xx doys the xxij yere 

j herte and ij bukkes y e xiiij tb yere 


By warant of the Erie of Essex, Justice of Forest in Claryngdon 
and the members to y e same 

xij Rowers by severall warrantes ye xvij yere of K. E 

j warante for the home copis in Claryngdon A xviij 

j warante for the old parke A xxi 

j warante for x u of trees in Claryngdon A xxij 

j warante for viij marke of trees in Claryngdon A xix 

j warante for vj 11 [worth of trees] Bukholte A xiiij 

By warant of William Erie of Arundell, Justice of Foreste 

j warante for Calumhill copis A pr Ric tercij 

j warante for ye logiis of Assheldy and Cheveley A ij R. 

j warante for x" of trees in Claryndon A ij H. vij 

j warante for y e copis of vij Rales in Claryngdon A ij H. vij 

By warantey of Kyng Richard. 

xx doys the ij d yere of his reigne 

c trees for to make Salte peter and Gunepowder 

By warantes of Kyng Harry the vij tb 

xij doys the firste yere of his reigne 
xviij doys the same yer 
xx doys the iij d yer of his reigne 
As many trees as drawith to xx h 

The Crown, in 1576, called upon the regarders of Milchet, 
Richard Bacon and Thomas Gauntlett, to return certificates in 
reply to articles of interrogation which had been forwarded to 
them. The following are their answers, the more important 
or interesting parts being cited verbatim : 

" We do saye that ther ys remaynynge in the Custody of one of us 
one Sealynge axe withe a peculye mark and one Bagge wheryn the 
Same Axe ys Kepte. 

"That Richard Audley Esquire, the Keeper of the Forest of 
Milchet, claims the windfall, and hath also taken five ' rotefall ' trees, 
about 12 loads in all ; that he hath taken the rotefall trees without 
any marking with the sealing axe ; and that he hath also taken 
several dead oak trees similarly unmarked. 

"That the Keeper caused an oak to be fallen to make ' dogge 
stakes for the Savegarde of the deere," which oak was fallen and 
carried befor any view consideration or allowance of us the regarders, 
the stem of which oak we have marked with the sealing axe. 


"That none were sworn for the falling of deer brouse last winter, 
though the Keeper had promised that one of his men should come 
before us the regarders to be duly sworne ; and yet did appoint three 
men who never appeared before us to ' cutte deere brouse of the 
bowes of okes in the Queenes Wooddes in the Forest of Mylchett 
where they dyd cutte and fall the bowes of okes of greter quantyte 
and bygger then a bucke was able to turne over with his hedde in 
Wynter and that they did cutt very lyttle other Woodde of the 
Queenes for deere browse but of the bowes of okes whereas ther ys 
hasell bysche, wethy, maple, and thorne.' 

" That in our judgement 33 loads of brouse and fire wood were cut. 

"That no cattle hath been put into the Queen's coppice, but n 
swine the which we impounded. 

"That we have a book wherin we write offences in the Queens 
woods if any be committed." 

James I., by letters patent dated I3th December, 1606, granted 
to William, Earl of Pembroke, the whole of the offices of 
keeper, warden, lieutenant, and bailiff of the forest and park 
of Clarendon, with all its members, together with the appoint- 
ment of all foresters, rangers, launders, palers, and stewards 
of courts of swainmote. By this comprehensive patent the 
earl obtained the most absolute control that probably any one 
subject ever possessed over a royal forest. As chief ranger of 
Clarendon Park, he was entitled to the whole of the herbage and 
pannage, stocking it either with his own cattle or letting the 
agistment to others ; at the felling of any of the twenty-one 
coppices of this park the ranger had two acres of the best wood 
for his own use, which was worth, on an average, 20 per 
annum; the farming of the "conie berryes " in the park 
realised 200 a year. Moreover, the patent gave the earl all 
the Clarendon lodges, with their houses, offices, and barns ; 
there were six of these, five termed " Innelodges" and one 
an "Outlodge." The chief lodge, with its fees and profits, 
was worth 140 a year. The four keepers of the other in- 
lodges, such keeperships being now vested in the earl, who 
need only put in deputies, had rights of grazing cows and 
horses, which with venison fees, wages, firewood, and lodgings, 
brought the total annual amount of the four to 358. The 
keepership of the outlodge was worth 42 iu. 8d. a year. 
Then, also, as bow-bearer the earl was entitled to various 


other fees and forest rights worth 49 13^. 4^. a year. And 
the whole of this was in addition to the venison and rootfallen, 
windfallen, and dead timber and general lop and crop that per- 
tained to the general office of chief keeper or warden of a royal 
forest. Trees, coppice wood, and game still technically belonged 
to the king, but the Crown value was much reduced by this ex- 
ceptionally generous patent. 

An elaborate survey of Clarendon park was taken by the 
Commonwealth in 1650, which is cited in full by Hoare. The 
impaled ground of this park then included 4,293 acres, and 
was said to be worth 1,806 js. id. per annum. It was 
divided into five parts of about equal value, the bounds of each 
of which are duly set forth. The names of the five divisions 
were the Ranger's, Theobald's, Fussell's, Palmer's, and 
Hunt's. In addition to these divisions, which were in the 
parishes of Alderbury, St. Martin's, Salisbury, and Laver- 
stock, there was also a survey taken at the same time of the 
Outlodge district, on the east side of Clarendon park, in the 
parish of Pitton; it is described by the commissioners as being 
within "the disafforested forest of Pannsett, alias Panshett," 
and no part of Clarendon Park. 

The deer of the park, distributed about the five divisions, 
numbered 500 "or thereabouts," and were valued at 20^. 
apiece. The timber trees, in addition to saplings, numbered 
14,919 ; they appear to have been all oaks. Many had been 
recently cut down and marked for the navy. The undergrowth 
was chiefly maple and thorn. 

After the Restoration, in 1665, Charles II. granted Claren- 
don park to George Monk, Duke of Albemarle. 


The forest district nearest to the centre of the county 
was that of Melksham, which was about equally distant 
from Chippenham, Devizes, Calne, Trowbridge, and Coss- 
ham. During the later part of its history it was frequently 
termed the forest of Melksham and Pewsham, Pewsham being 
an extra-parochial district south of Chippenham, which is now 
included in the new parish of Derry Hill. But the more usual 
title in the reign of Henry III. was the forest of Melksham 
and Chippenham, Chippenham occasionally coming first. 


In 1217, John Marshall, the keeper of the Melksham and 
Chippenham forest, was superseded by Richard de Samford, 
but the former was appointed constable of Devizes Castle, and 
the profits assigned for the upkeep of the castle. In 1219 
Philip de Albiny was appointed by the Crown forest keeper 
and also constable of the castle. At the time of the general 
order as to cablish, after the great storm of 1222, the two 
appointments were also in the same hands. It was but very 
rarely that forest appointments were in clerical hands, but in 
1225 the Crown nominated the Bishop of Salisbury to this 
forest keepership at pleasure. 

The men of Melksham obtained certain pasture rights in the 
forest in 1229, when Richard de Gray was keeper and con- 
stable of Devizes. Chippenham and Melksham, though under 
the same rule, and probably united without any break of forest 
jurisdiction, were evidently regarded as two great wards of the 
same forest. There were several royal orders in Henry III.'s 
reign for so many oaks out of Chippenham and so many out of 
Melksham, made simultaneously, and addressed to the keeper 
of the two. 

Forest pleas for Melksham and Pewsham were held at 
Devizes on 3ist August, 1490. The officials present were : 
Sir Richard Beauchamp, keeper of the forest ; Thomas Long, 
Esq., lieutenant; Walter Wrothesley, ranger; John, George 
and Thomas Barbour, foresters ; Thomas Unwin and John 
Blake, esquires, verderers ; thirteen regarders, five of whom are 
styled esquires ; five woodwards, and the reeves and four-men 
of each of the five townships of Chippenham, Studley, Stanley, 
Melksham, and Stroud. A place is left in the schedule for 
agisters, but the return is nulli. There were also present a grand 
jury of seventeen, headed by William Bouchier, sen., Esq., 
and twenty-five jurymen from each of the hundreds of Chip- 
penham and Melksham. Of the five woodwards, one was 
appointed by and represented the interests of the abbot of 
Stanley, another the abbess of Lacock, and a third Cecilia, 
Duchess of York. It was declared that the keeper was entitled 
to an oak from each baily ; the lieutenant and ranger to an oak 
each ; the forester and verderers to a roer each ; the company 
of regarders to a roer and a buck between them ; Richard 
Curson, the justices' deputy, to six oaks and a male deer called 


a pricket ; William Heyden and his assistants, for clerical 
labour and attendance at the sessions, to four roers ; and 
Thomas Unwin, as sheriff of Wilts, a buck. The claims to 
liberties of the abbot of Stanley, the prioress of Ambresbury, the 
abbess of Lacock, the priors of Farley and Brodenstoke, the 
Bishop of Salisbury, the Duchess of York, the Countess of 
Warwick, and three others were enrolled. 

The army of officials, however, reported omma bene, and as 
the various claims were all of long standing, it may be said 
that the whole business was nil, save that the findings of the 
swainmote court held on the previous gth of June were duly 
enrolled, recording the conviction of several transgressors for 
venison offences. 

It was also recorded that in the first year of Henry VI I. 's 
reign 82 deer died of murrain, namely, 27 bucks, 35 does, and 
20 fawns ; and in the second year the great number of 340, 
namely, 140 male, 200 female ; and in the third year 140, of 
which number 50 were male and the rest female. There 
seem to have been no red deer in this forest at that date. 

Most of this forest was disafforested in the days of James I., 
but the Crown at that time retained the liberty of Bowood, 
adjacent to Calne, which was part of Pewsham forest. This 
was one of the best timbered districts of the forest, and in 
1649 the Commonwealth caused a great number of the finest 
trees to be felled to pay the expenses of the army, under the 
authority of an Act of the Parliament. Fortunately, however, 
under the administration nf the famous John Pym, who was 
for many years a representative of the borough of Calne, the 
destruction was stayed. In 1653, Bowood, "late parcel of the 
possessions of Charles Stewart late King of England," was 
surveyed, when it was found to consist of 958 acres, bearing 
10,921 trees. At the Restoration, Bowood reverted to the 
Crown, but Charles II. sold it to Sir Orlando Bridgman, and 
thus the last remnant of this once great forest jurisdiction 
came to an end. 

Bowood, which is now the seat and property of the Marquis 
of Lansdowne, still preserves large tracts of wood and finely 
timbered lands outside the immediate park. The park of 254 
acres has a herd of 200 fallow deer, and has many well-grown 
trees beech, oak, elm, and chestnut. To the immediate south 


of Bowood is Captain Spicer's fine park of 500 acres, with a 
herd of 300 fallow deer. It consists of beautiful rough, broken 
ground, and is also within the old forest area, and but little 
changed in appearance from its condition in medieval days. 


In the extreme north of the county, a little to the south of 
Cricklade, stretched the considerable forest of Braden, which 
was anciently of great extent and abounding in both red and 
fallow deer. It was entirely separate from the other Wilts 
forests, and is named second in the list when orders relative to 
the cablish of all English tree-bearing forests were sent to the 
foresters and verderers in 1222. Its keeper at that date was 
Hugh de Samford. Warner de Samford had been the keeper 
in the previous year. In 1231, when Henry III. was at Marl- 
borough early in March, Hugh, the keeper, was ordered to 
supply Isabel, the king's sister, with two hinds against Easter, 
as the lady was tarrying at Marlborough. In the same year 
Thomas de Samford, one of the royal chaplains, was made 
warden of Cricklade hospital, and the king bestowed on him 
and his successors full way-leave without any interference 
from foresters or verderers throughout the whole forest for 
horses and carts to obtain fuel whenever needed for the 
brethren and poor of the hospital. In August of the same 
year Henry III. sent his huntsman, John the Fool, with his 
companions, to hunt Braden forest with dogs, and to take 
thence for the royal use ten harts and fifteen bucks. 

There are various rolls extant of swainmote courts held in 
this forest in the reign of James I. The records of the swain- 
mote held on 6th July, 1609, before Edmund Lough, esquire, 
verderer, and Richard Digge, esquire, steward, mentions 
Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, as keeper, and Henry 
Baynton, esquire, as ranger. There were present 4 foresters, 
ii regarders, 41 agisters, 14 woodwards, 2 herdsmen of Ashton, 
and many jurymen. The foresters presented the taking of 
16 bucks, 12 does, i soare, and i tegge, all by due licence. 
Among the regarders' presentments were the cutting down of 
a green oak, value 4^., by an unknown person. It was stated 
that thirty load of deer-browse ought to be cut yearly for relief 


of the king's game in winter, but "many yeres heretofore no 
deer Browse hath been allowed or cattle for releafe of the 
deare, whereby they have been forced in dead tyme of winter 
to forsake the Foreste, and to seeke their releife in the Bor- 
derers house groundes to the dammage and spoyle of his 
Mat? 68 game." 

Braden was disafforested in the time of Charles II. 


The important Wiltshire forest of Severnake lay to the south 
of Marl borough, and was divided into two bailiwicks, the one 
in the hundred of Selkley, and the other in the hundred of 

The references to this forest in the rolls of Henry III. and 
subsequent reigns, concerning royal gifts therefrom of deer, 
roe deer, and timber, as well as appointments of keepers, 
foresters, verderers, etc., are of very frequent occurrence. 
Much, too, can be gleaned from the forest pleas and other forest 
rolls. The following instances are reproduced as examples of 
twenty-nine presentments of venison trespasses before the forest 
justices, temp Henry VII., chiefly against the Wroughton and 
Darrell families. The pleas were held at Amesbury on 25th 
August, 1490 : 

' ' William Tailor vnderkeper of the verme bayle presentith that 
John Wroughton esquier Thomas Wroughton John Perot William 
Belson David Welshman John Barowe John Longden with other the 
Thursday next after the feast of the Trinite the first yere of our 
sovraigne Lord Kyng Henry the VII th hunted Cobham Fryth Holt 
Lese and the Lityll ffrithe and there kylled a Sower with bowys and 

"Thomas Kyng vnderforster of Iwode presentith that Sir Edward 
Darell Knyght John Baynton gent John Cradeley David Walsman 
John a Wood and John Langden with other of his servantes the 
morowe after the feast of Seint John Baptiste the v th yere of our 
seid sovraign Lord out of Monttisfonte Copys a Doo and a fawne 
kylled in the cheif of the fense monyth and their houndes thorough 
ranne the forest to the great distrucion of the Kynge peace." 

An interesting portion of the old forest of Savernake, about 
4,000 acres, containing much fine old timber, has been pre- 


served, as it forms the noble park round Tottenham House, 
the seat of the Marquis of Ailesbury. Outside the actual 
deer park, on the east, is a considerable extent of heavily 
timbered open ground. 


Chute forest lay to the south-west of that of Savernake, and 
extended some distance into Hampshire, though always con- 
sidered to be in the main a Wiltshire forest. In early days it 
seemed to have joined Savernake forest, and was at times 
under the same chief keepership. The entries as to royal gifts 
from this forest by Henry III. are numerous. Red deer (both 
harts and hinds) were presented to royal favourites, and also 
dispatched hence for the king's table ; oaks were bestowed, 
inter alia, on the abbess of St. Mary's, Winchester, and on 
the prioress of Amesbury for building purposes, and on the 
Countess of Pembroke for repairing the mills at Newbury. 

The original records relative to this forest, temp. Edward IV. 
and Henry VII., are numerous. The presentments at the 
swainmote courts of 1485-6 include one for creating "a 
pyggyshouse " by the boundary oak within the forest. The 
forester of the west baily reported the death, through murrain, 
during that year, of two bucks, four does, and a sorrel, whilst 
the forester of the east baily returned the death, through 
a like cause, of three bucks, one sore, eight does, and three 
fawns. Sir Nicholas Lysle was the warden or keeper, and 
under him were three foresters for the respective wards of the 
west baily, the east baily, and Hippingscomb, as well as one 
riding or itinerant forester. The ministers also included two 
verderers and two agisters. 

These forest pleas for Chute were heard at Andover by 
Justices Ratcliff and Gray, on 4th September, 1490. Sir 
Nicholas Lysle, "warden by olde inheritaunce of ye Forest of 
Chutte," petitioned the king, complaining of interruption of 
his privileges by the forest justices. Among his vert claims 
were an acre with its bear of the coppice wood set to sale, 
and all wood felled and not carried away before the fence 
month, which had hitherto been always allowed to him and his 
ancestors for the guarding and safe keeping of the forest ; 


he asked for privy seal confirming his claims to be directed to 
the justices itinerant. 

The verderers and regarders presented at this eyre that 
Nicholas, the warden, had killed, since the last iter, twenty 
deer, male and female ; also that William Colwych, one of the 
foresters, had taken within his baily two stalls of bees with 
their wax, of the value of 5^. 

Various forest offences alleged against the warden at this 
eyre were held by the justices to be proved, and he was re- 
moved from his office. In 1497 various trespasses and hurts to 
the forest done by Sir Nicholas were presented before Roger 
Cheyne (late lieutenant of the forest) who had succeeded him 
as warden, and the verderers, when he was charged with killing 
the deer at Christmas. 

" Item the said Sir Nicholas, abbot of Misrule, came into the said 
forest on New Yeres Eve and there made chase and rechase and 
kylled ij dere, and also servauntes of the said Sir Nicholas Lyles 
commyth dayly into the forest and makyth chase and rechase that the 
dere may not lye in rest." 

In a further statement to the king, Sir Nicholas claimed that 
his ancestors had for a long time held the wardenship of 
Chute forest on payment of a rent of icw., and finding seven 
foresters at his own cost to walk and keep the forest ; that 
all the time there had been a forest lodge for the petitioner to 
rest and live in for sure keeping until lately, when Sir William 
Sandes entered upon it, and he prayed to be restored to it or 
have a new one built ; and that the charges against him had 
been made by malicious and evil-disposed persons. 

The king's lodge here referred to was at "Fyckele" or 
" Fynkeley " within the forest. It underwent considerable 
repair at the beginning of this reign. For the new roofing 
7,000 shingles were provided at a cost of 20^., and 500 shingle 
nails at 8d. 

On payment of certain fines, Sir Nicholas Lysle was at 
length, in 1501, granted a royal pardon and restored to his 


The Wiltshire forest of Groveley was half in the hundred 
of Cadworth and half in the hundred of Branch and Dole. 


It was divided into north and south bailiwicks under a 
single keeper. Documentary evidence from the beginning 
of Henry III.'s reign is abundant with regard to this forest. 
The perambulation temp. Edward I. and certain later par- 
ticulars are set forth in Hoare's Wilts (iv. 183-190). 


The ancient forest of Selwood covered the south-western 
confines of Wiltshire at the extremity of the hundred of West- 
bury, together with a large portion of East Somersetshire, and 
extended itself southward from Frome just across the borders 
into Dorsetshire. Collinson (Somerset, ii. 195-6) gives a list 
of keepers of this forest from John to Henry VI. Special 
privileges in this forest were granted to the house of leprous 
women of Maiden Bradley in the thirteenth century. The 
material for its history, as yet unwritten, is abundant. It was 
disafforested in the time of Charles I. 



THE county of Dorset had three royal forests at the time 
of the granting of the Forest Charter of Henry III. 
Gillingham, Blackmore, and Poorstock. 

Gillingham was the most important of the three, in the 
extreme north of the county ; it was originally one of the 
divisions of the great Somersetshire forest of Selwood. Leland 
gives its dimensions, in the time of Henry VIII., as four miles 
long by one broad. Material for the history of this and the 
other forests of the county is abundant. In the third edition 
of Hutchins' History of Dorset, the boundaries of several 
perambulations of Gillingham forest, from Henry III. to 
Elizabeth, are set forth, as well as abstracts of the proceedings 
relative to its disafforestation (ii. 620-4, 649). It was dis- 
afforested and the deer removed in 1625. 

The wood sale accounts of Richard Cressebien and Mathew 
Vynyng of the forest of Gillingham for 1402-3 are extant, 
still enclosed in the leather pouch in which they were for- 
warded to London. Mention is made in these accounts of the 
sale of many Brothers," varying in price from 8s. to i6d.; 
this term was a variant for roers or robora. Many details are 
given of the expenses occurred in repairing lodges. 

Pleas of the forest of Gillingham were held at Shaftesbury 
on 2nd September, 1490, before Sir Reginald Gray, Edward 
Chaderton, clerk, and Richard Empson, as justices of the forest 
of Elizabeth, Queen of England, on both sides the Trent. 
Those appearing were Sir John Luttrell, sheriff of the 
county ; William Twynyho, esquire, lieutenant of the forest ; 
William Goodwyn, ranger ; Gilbert Thomson, forester-of-fee ; 



two other foresters, the launder, the servant of the lieutenant, 
the bailiff and his fellows of the hundred of Redlane, and 
also of the manor of Gillingham, the two verderers, eight 
regarders, and the reeves and " four-men " of each of the town- 
ships of Gillingham, Motcombe, and Brayton. 

The business transacted chiefly consisted in assigning the 
perquisites of oaks, roers, and bucks to the officials, and the 
registering of liberty claims within the forest. The jury of 
the hundred of Redlane presented a list of various persons 
who had felled oaks, but in almost each instance they knew not 
the number nor the warrant. 

One of the questions discussed at these pleas was the right 
to a deer-leap, which formed part of the fence of a small park 
three miles distant from the bounds of Gillingham Forest. 
The nature of the saltatorium, or deer-leap, has been explained 
in the sixth chapter. In this case the justices ordered its 
removal, as a jury, after an inquest, decided that it had been 
erected since the last eyre, and without any licence. 


A large tract of the north and western parts of the county, 
comprising several hundreds, known as the vale or forest of 
Blackmore, was all forest in early Norman days ; but much of 
it passed from under the forest laws in the time of Henry II., 
and still more through the Forest Charter of Henry III. 
Nevertheless, a considerable district remained forest, and was 
known as Blackmore forest until a much later period. The 
Close Rolls, etc., of Henry III. show that the king made 
many gifts of red, fallow, and roe deer out of this forest, as 
well as timber. In 1230 an oak was granted for the repair of 
the bridge of Corfe Castle. In the same year the forest bailiff 
was instructed to supply the distant Bishop of Durham with 
seven does against Christmas ; and in the following year to 
furnish the Bishop of Exeter with ten does towards stocking a 
park. Camden says that it used to be known as the White 
Hart Forest, and gives the following story to account for the 
name. Henry III., when hunting here, ran down several 
deer, and rinding a beautiful white hart amongst them, caused 
its life to be spared. Shortly afterwards a neighbouring gentle- 


man, one Thomas de la Linde, with his companions, hunte< 
this hart and killed it at a bridge, thence called Kingstag 
bridge, in the parish of Pulham. The king, in his wrath, not 
only punished the offenders by imprisonment and fine, but 
severely taxed all their lands, "the owners of which yearly, 
ever since to this day, pay a sum of money, by way of fine 01 
amercement, into the Exchequer, called White Hart Silver, ii 
memory of which this county needeth no better remembrance 
than this annual payment." Leland says: "This forest 
streatchid from Ivelle unto the quarters of Shaftesbyri, and 
touchid with Gillingham Forest that is nere Shaftesbyri." The 
ancient bounds and a few other particulars are set forth in the 
third edition of Hutchins' Dorset (iv. 516-19). 


In the parish of Poorstock (between Beminster and Brid- 
port) and the adjacent country was the old royal forest of Poor- 
stock. John de la Lynde held the bailiwick of this forest in 
the time of Henry III. It was of comparatively small extent ; 
the perambulation of 1300 shows that it had one forester-of-fee, 
Walter de la Lynde, and one verderer, Robert de Byngham. 
This perambulation is set forth in Hutchins' Dorset (ii. 317). 


THE county of Somerset was possessed of five consider- 
able forests, namely, Mendip, Selwood, North Petherton, 
Neroche, and Exmoor, the last of which stretched a little 
distance into the county of Devon. Though these forests lay 
wide apart from one another, more than fifty miles as the crow 
flies separating Exmoor in the north-west of the county from 
Mendip in the north-east, the whole of the Somersetshire 
forests were under the general control of one chief warden or 
keeper. William du Plessis was hereditary keeper or master 
forester of the five Somerset forests in the middle of the 
thirteenth century, and Sabine Pecche, his descendant, in 

The forest pleas that were held for this county in 1257 show 
a remarkable exception as to the beasts of the forest in the case 
of the warren of Somerton. Within the bounds of this 
warren the king preserved the hare as a beast of the forest. 
At that eyre Philip the Knight and Robert Sinclair, the two 
verderers, presented, before William le Breton and his fellow- 
justices, that, on yth December, 1255, Richard le Rus and his 
fellows, whose names were unknown, took four hares in 
Somerton warren. The verderers further presented that in 
Christmas week, 1256, a certain hare was found dead. An 
inquisition was therefore made by the four townships of Somer- 
ton, Kingston, Pitney, and Wearne, who returned that the 
hare died of murrain. There is no like record affecting the 
hare in any other known forest proceedings throughout the king- 
dom, and it was probably peculiar to this comparatively small 
warren. To compel the four adjacent townships to hold an 
inquest on every hare found dead or wounded in accordance 
with the laws pertaining to beasts of the forest throughout 



the length and breadth of the vast area under forest law in the 
thirteenth century would have been impossible to Execute and 
absurd to attempt. 

Another interesting point about the Somerset eyre of 1257 is 
the presentment of the woodwards of wood owners. It appears 
that at that period the presentment of such officials before the 
justices was obligatory. Thus John Syward, the woodward of 
the Bishop of Bath and Wells for the wood of Cheddar, had 
been presented by the bishop's steward to William de Plessis, 


the hereditary keeper, but not before the forest justice ; where- 
upon the bishop was declared in mercy and the wood taken 
into the king's hands. Before, however, the eyre closed, the 
bishop's steward appeared, made fine for the wood, and pre- 
sented Syward to the justices, who took the necessary oaths. 
Thereupon the wood was restored to the bishop. Like proce- 
dure was taken with regard to another of the bishop's wood- 
wards, as well as a woodward of the abbot of St. Augustine's, 
Bristol. At the same pleas, the abbess of Shaftesbury and two 
laymen duly presented their respective woodwards. 

Pleas of the forest were again held for Somerset in May, 


1270, when the verderers of Somerton warren again presented, 
before the justices at Ilchester, several delinquents for hare 

More careful attention is given to forest history in Collinson's 
History of Somerset (three vols., 1791) than in any of our other 
old county histories. He cites in full from the Wells registers 
the perambulations undertaken of all the forests of the county 
in 1289, in order to reduce them to their ancient and lawful 
bounds, in pursuance of the ratification of the forest charter 
granted that year. With respect to the forest of Roche or 
Neroche, the commissioners reported in favour of the disaf- 
foresting of various villages, lands, and woods, which had 
been afforested by King John to the great detriment of the 
tenants. Almost equally great reductions of hunting-ground, 
which had been illegally made forest by Henry II., Richard I., 
and John in the other Somerset forests, were at the same time 
condemned and declared disafforested. 

The master forestership or general keepership of all the 
county forests passed from the Peche family, in the reign of 
Edward III., to Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, in whose 
descendants, earls of March, and in their heirs the dukes 
of York, it continued until the time of Edward VI., when it 
became united to the Crown. Collinson sets forth the period 
of the respective disafforesting of North Petherton, Mendip, 
Neroche, and Selwood ; but space prevents us giving particular 
attention to any Somersetshire forest save that of Exmoor, to 
which a few pages ought to be devoted. 

The printed information about Exmoor Forest is exceptionally 
full. In addition to that which can be gleaned from Collinson's 
county history, and from Savage's History of Carhampton 
Hundred (1830), Mr. Rawle, in his Annals of the Ancient 
Royal Forest of Exmoor (1893), has published most of the infor- 
mation that can be gained from the original forest documents at 
the Public Record Office, or from MSS. at the British Museum. 

Exmoor, exclusive of the part pertaining to Devonshire, was 
the largest and by far the wildest of the Somersetshire forests. 
This great expanse of hilly, open country, constituting for 
the most part a bleak tableland of moor, surrounded by a fringe 
of well-wooded combes, was bounded on the north by the 
Bristol Channel, extended some twelve or thirteen miles 


inland, and was about twenty-five miles in length from east to 
west. That Exmoor was a hunting-ground before the Con- 
quest is made manifest by the fact that Withypool, according 
to the Domesday Survey, was held by three foresters in the 
days of Edward the Confessor. Whatever may have been the 
area of Exmoor forest in the time of the Conqueror Mr. 
Rawle believes it to have been above 60,000 acres it was con- 
siderably increased by the encroachments of later Norman 
kings, particularly of John. 

A perambulation of 1279, at the Public Record Office, gives 
a circuit of about fifty miles, and included within the forest 
area almost the whole of the parish of Oare, portions of 
Culbone, Dulverton, Exford, Porlock, and Winsford, and the 
whole of Hawkridge and Withypool, together with the modern 
parish of Exmoor. The perambulation stated that King John 
had added to the original forest a considerable number of 
adjacent parishes and manors, to an aggregate of about 20,000 
additional acres, which included East and West Luccombe, 
Doverhay, Stoke Pero, Woodcockleigh, Bossington, Holni- 
cote, Withycombe, etc. As a consequence of the 1298 peram- 
bulation for the whole county of Somerset, all the additions 
made by John to the forest of Exmoor were disafforested, and 
the ancient bounds as then laid down remained unaltered for 
several centuries. 

The justices in eyre appointed to hear the Somerset forest 
pleas are known to have held their courts at Ilchester, Lang- 
port, Somerton, Taunton, and Wells. Taunton, the nearest of 
these court towns, was over thirty miles distant from the nearest 
part of Exmoor, whilst the other towns were all upwards of 
fifty a distance that could not fail to considerably impede the 
course of justice and increase its expense. At the eyre held at 
Ilchester in 1257 by William le Briton and his colleagues, 
twenty-six vert trespassers were presented from Exmoor ; the 
highest fine was 5^., which was inflicted on a clerk, William 
de Bagel ; in another case the fine was 2s. ; the remainder were 
mulcted in izd. The few cases of venison trespass show that 
there were both red deer and roebucks on Exmoor ; but there 
is no mention of fallow deer in this or subsequent pleas and 
inquisitions. At this eyre there were various presentments for 
encroachments and for sowing land with wheat, rye, or oats 


(not "beans," as Mr. Rawle has it). Several offenders were 
also fined half a mark for waste of wood. 

At the eyre held at Ilchester in 1270, there were upwards of 
fifty vert trespassers presented. In a few cases the fine was 2s. , 
but in general it was i2d. ; the justices imposed no fine in five 
instances in consequence of the poverty of the offender. The 
venison trespassers presented by the foresters and by Philip 
de Luccombe and Richard de Bradley, the verderers, were not 
numerous, considering that thirteen years had elapsed since the 
last eyre. Simon, the miller of Dulverton, Ralph Bulbe, and 
John de Reygny caught a stag on St. George's Day, 1259, 
and carried it to the house of William de Reygny. Simon 
made no appearance, and a writ was addressed to the sheriff of 
Devon. Ralph could not be found, and a writ of exigent was 
issued. John and William de Reygny were committed to 
prison, but released on the payment of ten marks and finding 
pledges for their future behaviour. In another case, Thomas 
le Shetten and William Wyne were charged with entering the 
forest on Easter Eve, 1267, with bows and arrows, with the 
intent of wrong-doing to the king's venison. They hunted a 
hind, and chased her into the wood of Longcombe, without 
the forest bounds, and there caught her, and carried her away 
to their houses at Molland. The same two men were charged 
with often entering the forest with evil intent, when they were 
harboured in the house of John, then chaplain of Hawkridge. 
The chaplain came to the eyre and was put in prison, but the 
other two made no appearance, and a writ for their arrest was 
directed to the sheriff of Devon. Before the court was dissolved, 
John the chaplain was pardoned for the sake of the king's soul 
(pro anima Regis}. 

At an inquisition held at Langport before a deputy justice of 
the forest, in 1333, in addition to two cases of venison trespass, 
Richard le Webbe and two others of Moulton were convicted 
of burning the heath of 1,000 acres on the hills of the forest, 
to the damage of the king and to the injury of his deer. At 
the same time, William Cobbel, rector of Oare, was convicted 
of felling saplings in the wood of Oare, and carrying them off 
for his own purpose. 

Various other inquisitions as to the state of Exmoor, held 
before forest justices or their deputies at Somerton, Taunton, 


and Wells during the latter part of the reign of Edward III., 
are set forth in detail by Mr. Rawle. 

Mr. Rawle has, however, overlooked several entries on the 
Patent and Close Rolls pertaining to Exmoor, several of which 
have been already cited in earlier chapters. 

In 1324, John Everard, the escheator of the four western 
counties, was ordered to deliver to Eleanor, widow of Ralph de 
Gorges, and mother of Ralph his heir, aged 15, two parts of 
a third of the manor of Brampton, co. Devon, as the king 
learnt by inquisition that Ralph held at his death a third of 
that manor of the king in chief, by service of finding the king 
an arrow when the king came or sent to Exmoor to take venison 
there, the arrow to be delivered to the king's huntsman. 

In November, 1377, Richard II. granted Baldwin Badyngton, 
king's esquire, and Matilda his wife, to enclose at pleasure, 
notwithstanding the assize of the forest, all their demesne 
lands in Somerset within the metes of the forests of Exmoor 
and Petherton, which had been wasted and destroyed year by 
year by the deer, so as to prevent the deer from entering, and 
thus to hold these premises for their lives. 

Peter de Courtenay obtained in 1382, during the minority 
of the heir, the custody of the forest of Exmoor, which was in 
the king's hands since the death of Edmund, Earl of March. 

Edward IV., in 1462, granted for life to William Bourgchier, 
of Fitzwaren, knight, the master forestership of Exmoor, re- 
ceiving the usual fees in the same manner as Thomas Courtenay, 
late Earl of Devon. Six years later the king granted the same 
office for life to Humphrey Stafford, knight, on the death of 
William Bourgchier. In 1470, John Dynham obtained from 
the Crown the grant for life of the custody of the king's 
forests of Exmoor and Neroche, with the herbage and pan- 
nage and the courts of swainmote, rendering yearly to the 
king forty marks. 

Henry VII., when he came to the throne in 1485, seems to 
have put the control of the venison of Exmoor into the hands 
of his chamberlain, Lord Daubeny. 

On the marriage of Henry VIII. with Catherine of Aragon, 
Exmoor was settled on the queen as part of her jointure. In 
1520 Sir Thomas Boleyn covenanted with the Earl of Devon- 
shire to give up certain forests, offices, etc., which he held of 


Queen Catherine at a yearly rent of 46 13$. 4^., saving and 
reserving 100 deer to remain in the forest of Exmoor. The 
forest was afterwards held by Henry's third wife, Jane Sey- 

In 1598 Hugh Pollard was ranger of the forest, and kept a 
pack of hounds at Simonsbath. James I. granted Exmoor 
forest to his queen, Anne of Denmark. Charles I., on 
coming to the throne, granted a lease for 22^ years to the 
Earl of Pembroke of "the Forest and Chace of Exmore in 
the counties of Devon and Somerset, and of the manor of 
Exmore for fourteen years . . . with a further clause of liberty to 
him to build a lodge in the forest at his chardges, and to 
enclose and lay one hundred acres of land thereunto." 

In 1630 the king was petitioned to disafforest Exmoor in 
favour of an influential applicant. The petition was granted, 
but further action was not taken. In the royal library at 
Windsor is a warrant, dated 5th August, 1637, under the sign 
manual of Charles I., directing the ranger of Exmoor to deliver 
to Mr. Wyndham "one fatt stagg " ; a facsimile of this docu- 
ment forms the frontispiece to Mr. Rawle's volume. 

Within a few months of his accession, Charles II. granted a 
lease of Exmoor for 39 years to James Butler, Marquis of 

In 1784 a lease of the forest and chase of Exmoor, with the 
courts and royalties, was granted to Sir Thomas Dyke Ac- 
land, Bart. This was the last lease granted by the Crown. 

In 1815 an Act of Parliament was passed for the disafforest- 
ing and enclosing of Exmoor. The extent of the forest was 
then found to be only 18,810 acres, which were thus allotted : A 
little more than one-half to the king ; one-eighth to Sir T. D. 
Acland in lieu of the tithes of the whole forest, which he held ; 
and the remainder to "owners of certain estates, to which free 
suits were attached, and to several other persons in respect of 
old enclosed tenements lying in various parishes bordering on 
the forest." The king's portion was at once offered for sale, 
and his 10,000 acres were purchased by Mr. John Knight for 

Thus ended the royal rights over the ancient forest of 
Exmoor, which had their origin in days prior to the Norman 


WHILST far too little has hitherto been printed about 
many of England's forests, the reverse is true with 
regard to Dartmoor. The mere list of books and 
publications relating to Dartmoor, its history, scenery, an- 
tiquities, and convicts, covers twelve pages of the last edition 
of Rowe's Perambulation. Much of this is, however, of an 
ephemeral character, and the only two books that give serious 
information as to the history of the forest or chase are 
J. S. W. Page's Exploration of Dartmoor (1889), and the one 
just named. The Perambulation of Dartmoor, by Samuel Rowe, 
vicar of Crediton, a good antiquary of his day, was first 
published in 1848; it was reprinted in 1856, and in 1896 
brought out again in a much extended and corrected form by 
J. Brooking Rowe, F.S.A. This last admirable volume gives 
in extenso a variety of historical documents from a charter 
of John in 1199 down to an interesting presentment of the 
jurors of a court of survey in 1786. Nevertheless, a con- 
tinuous history of this forest or chase yet remains to be 

In the following brief remarks a mere bare outline of the 
general run of such a history is all that is attempted ; whilst 
the additional documentary evidence cited has, to the best 
of our belief, never before been printed. 

The whole forest of Dartmoor lies within the old parish 
of Lydford, by far the largest parish in all England. The wild 
table-land of the forest in the centre of the shire, with its 
adjacent common lands, hardly distinguishable from the forest 
proper, covers some 100,000 acres, whilst the actual forest has, 



in round numbers, an acreage of 60,000. The district is about 
twenty-eight miles long from north to south, and about twenty- 
six miles wide from east to west. The nature of this granite 
table-land makes it certain that Dartmoor was never covered 
to any considerable extent with timber, although there was 
doubtless more underwood in places, diversified by occasional 
growth of oak, alder, and willow in the more sheltered 

By a charter of John, i8th May, 1204, all lands in Devon- 
shire, save the forests of Dartmoor and Exmoor, were dis- 
afforested, thus anticipating the great charter of 1215, so far as 
this county was concerned. 

In 1222 Henry III. directed the bailiffs of the once im- 
portant borough of Lydford to permit the tinners of Devon 
to take peat from his moor of Dartmoor for the use of the 

Henry III., in 1228, granted to Adam Esturney certain lands, 
which Roger Mirabel had held of the king in chief, in 
Skerradon and Shapelegh, by the service of two barbed 
arrows when the king came to hunt in his chase of Dartmoor. 
The manor of Woodbury was held in chief of the king by 
the service of three barbed arrows and an oat cake of the price 
of half a farthing, when the king should come to Dartmoor for 
hunting in his chase. The ancient tenure of the manor of 
Druscombe also shows that royal hunting over this waste, 
then so well stocked with deer, was anticipated, for the lord 
had to present a bow and three arrows to the king when 
hunting on the moor. 

In 1236, the king granted the tithe of the herbage or 
agistment of Dartmoor to the chaplain serving the church 
of St. Petrock at Lydford. 

In 1240, the sheriff was directed to summon a jury to deter- 
mine, by perambulation, the bounds of Dartmoor Forest. 
Of this perambulation there are several early copies. An 
ancient quaint map of the forest, of which a photograph is 
given by Mr. Brooking Rowe, is extant that has generally 
been supposed to be coeval with this perambulation, but it 
is probably two centuries later in date. 

An entry on the Close Rolls, dated 23rd January, 1251, shows 
that the very rare privilege of having a justice in eyre for 


forest pleas, for a forest that was not strictly royal, was 
granted to Richard Earl of Cornwall, to whom the castle, 
manor, borough of Lydford and the forest of Dartmoor had 
been granted. 

Geoffrey of Langley, justice of the forest, was at that 
date ordered by the king, as a concession to the Earl of 
Cornwall, when he had finished the eyre then being held in 
the county of Nottingham, to proceed to Dartmoor for a like 

Mr. Brooking Rowe prints a rendering of the ministers' 
accounts of Edmund Earl of Cornwall relative to Dartmoor 
for the years 1296-7. The items are arranged under the heads 
of the borough and manor Lydford, including the fee-farm 
rent, and profits arising from water-mill, fairs, toll-tin, and 
stray cattle ; and the forest, including profits from water-mill, 
from township fines for pasturing cattle, from peat-diggers, 
from the agistment of 2,442 cattle at \\d. a head, from 487 
horses at 2d. each horse, and from pannage, etc. There were 
various court fines chiefly for straying cattle, but two for tres- 
pass during the fence month show that some care was taken of 
the red deer. Under the head of allowances, 6os. is entered as 
paid to the parson of Lydford, and 42$. for the stipends and 
drink money (poutura) of the foresters, with 22^. for their ex- 
penses in the fence month, and stipends and drink money 
for twelve herdsmen from 3rd May to i5th August, j6s. 6d. 
There was a clear balance on the whole account for the Earl of 
Cornwall of ^44 2s. 

That the deer were well warded, in addition to the cattle, is 
shown by the supplies of salted venison that were sent to 
Edward I. and Edward II. from this forest. 

From the reign of Edward III. to that of James I. there are 
various ministers' accounts and court rolls among the duchy 
muniments at the Public Record Office. The forest was 
divided into four quarters or wards, known from the points of 
the compass as East, West, North, and South, and the 
accounts of each were kept separately. The accounts of Robert 
de Cleford, the keeper and receiver of the moneys for turves, 
agistments, etc., for the years 1354-5, show the following par- 
ticulars for the first three wards, that for the South being 
mutilated : 


East. 2,641 cattle and 198 horses agisted, and five peat- 
cutters licensed producing 34 js. $d. 

West. 1,408 cattle and thirty-seven horses agisted, and 
twenty-two folds and twelve peat-cutters licensed producing 
10 2s. g^d. 

North. 298 cattle, 163 horses, fourteen folds, and thirty-one 
peat-cutters producing .5 is. 6\d. 

The charge right through these accounts for a long period 
was i\d. a head for cattle and 2d. a head for horses, 2d. for 
each fold, and $d. from each peat-digger. Those who dug 
peat for fuel are termed carbonarii, which has been absurdly 
translated colliers, and mention of early coal-getting on Dart- 
moor has been more than once printed. But the geological 
formation makes such an idea impossible. 

Ralph Houle was the receiver in 1370-1, and his accounts for 
two wards yield the following particulars. 

East Ward. 2,762 cattle agisted within the forest, and 1,762 
without the forest ; five horses agisted within the forest, and 
twenty-nine without. This agistment, in addition to the pay- 
ments of thirteen peat -cutters, $8s. lod. in rents, gave a 
total of 29 15^-. nd. 

West Ward. 952 cattle and twelve horses agisted, whilst 
thirty-eight men paid for folds and thirteen to cut peat. This, 
with us. nd. rents, made a total of g gs. io\d. Among the 
outgoings were the 6os. of tithe, which appears in every 
account, 6s. 8d. to the clerk who drew up the returns, and the 
stipends of two foresters. 

The court rolls of 1381-2 have the heading^ venatione infra 
forestam several times, but no entry follows. 

The accounts for 1387-8 give John Copleston as the 
king's steward in Devonshire. John Prik was the forester- 
bailiff of the West forest ; the money wages for two foresters 
was only 1 3*?. ^d. , but they each received an additional 6d. a week 
during the four weeks of the deer-calving time, or fence 
month. For the North forest, Robert Colleshull was forester- 
bailiff, and Ralph Brante for the East forest ; in both cases the 
wages were the same as in the West ward. Much of this roll 
is illegible. 

The ministers' accounts for 1403-4 give Henry Burgeye as 
receiver, and he accounts for the borough of Lydford. William 


Wykes was forester for North Dartmoor ; 1,307 cattle, ninety- 
one horses, forty-two peat-cutters, and twenty-four folds. Aver 
Wonstan was forester for East Dartmoor; 1,693 cattle, 133 
horses, twenty-one peat-cutters, and twelve folds. William 
Ysabel was forester for South Dartmoor; 1,600 cattle, forty- 
nine horses, sixteen peat-cutters, and twelve folds. William 
Kelly was forester for West Dartmoor; 1,780 cattle, ninety- 
seven horses, sixteen peat-cutters, and twelve folds. 

A bundle of court rolls of the beginning of Henry V.'s reign, 
1399-1405, contain many interesting forest details. At a 
court for East Dartmoor held a Lydford on St. Luke's Day, 
there were various fines for unwarranted agistment, and one 
charge of hunting with greyhounds at Myrepitte on Christmas 
Day. Though not so styled, there were evidently the regular 
swainmote courts held in forests every forty days, for courts 
were also held, for the year 1399-1400, in February, on the 
Feast of St. David, at Easter, Sts. Philip and James, Whitsun- 
tide, St. John Baptist, St. Mark, and the Assumption nine 
in all. 

There were also eight courts held for West Dartmoor, on 
days quite apart from those for the east ward, including St. 
Clement's, Christmas, St. Valentine's, and St. Gregory's Days. 
There is a full list for 1399-1400 of those who turned their 
cattle (averia) out in East Dartmoor. The contrast is con- 
siderable between the rich John Abraham (was he of Jewish 
descent?) who turned out 300 head, and Walter atte Heade 
who had only a single beast. The total of the cattle is 1,970, 
and the agistment money came to >ig 6s. ^d. 

The ministers' accounts for 1403-4 show a still large number 
of agisted cattle on East Dartmoor, namely, 3,159, in addition 
to twenty-nine horses; the peat-cutters numbered thirty. Richard 
Wyte was the bailiff-forester. The wages for two foresters stand 
as in earlier accounts, and there is also los. paid for a warden of 
the cattle collected at the pound of Dunbryge, and for a clerk 
writing out the list and aiding in impounding them. In 
Rowe's Perambulation there are several references to 
Dunbridge, or Dunnabridge, pound, usually called the duchy 
pound, of a much later date. The sum of 3^. 4^. was paid 
this year for parchment on which to write the East Dartmoor 
agistment lists. The bailiff-forester for West Dartmoor for 


that year was Alfred Wonstan ; he returned 1,430 cattle, 
thirty-two horses, and twenty-one peat-cutters, but no fold 
money (faldagium) ; for this ward there were also two paid 
foresters with an assistant herdsman for the Dunbridge pound. 
South Dartmoor (John Grendon) had 2,012 cattle, thirty-six 
horses, and seventeen peat-cutters ; whilst North Dartmoor 
(John Wyke) had 1,401 cattle, eighty-nine horses, and thirty- 
three peat-cutters. These two wards also each paid for two 
foresters and an assistant for the Dunbridge pound. This 
great pound, between Two Bridges and Dartmeet, is a large 
enclosure measuring 350 feet from east to west, and 330 feet 
from north to south. Rowe describes the wall as nearly 
6 feet high where perfect. 

The ministers' accounts for 1451-2 yield the following 
agistment returns : 

East West South North 

Cattle . . 1,208 ... 1,248 ... 1,696 ... 1,045 
Horses . . 42 ... 21 ... 40 ... 26 

This shows a considerable falling off from the returns of half a 
century earlier date. 

The agistment entries more than a century later, in the 
court rolls for the forest of 1571-2, give the numbers of the 
cattle on North Dartmoor as 1,224; they belonged to fifty-four 
owners: Thomas Whyte owned 208, Thomas Ware 150, and 
Stephen Knight forty-eight, whilst some only owned one beast. 
Under Nomina delinquent* infra foresf are the names of 
Stephen Knight and thirty others who were each fined 3^. for 
agistment offences. There were only thirteen horses. Agistment 
of sheep (bidentes) now appear on the rolls ; of these there 
were twenty-one owners, and their flocks on the moor varied 
from 300 to 10 ; the total number of the sheep was 830, and 
their agistment fees amounted to 25^. nd. The cattle on South 
Dartmoor numbered 1,043, and the horses nine ; whilst twelve 
persons turned out 346 sheep for los. *j\d. On West 
Dartmoor the cattle numbered 1,619, and the horses twenty, 
but there were no sheep. On East Dartmoor there were 2,079 
cattle, twenty horses, and 100 sheep. Five persons each turned 
out a score, and paid the aggregate sum of y. \\d., so the 
charge for sheep was *]\d. the score. In each ward there 


were a number of delinquents who paid 3^. fines. The total 
of the peat-cutters, who still paid $d. each, on the whole moor 
was thirty-five. 

The court rolls for some twenty years later, namely, for 
1595-6, show that the sheep were increasing. There were 843 
in the north quarter, 1 10 in the east, and 246 in the west ; the 
return for the south quarter is missing. 

In the reign of James the sheep on the whole materially 
increased, at the expense of the cattle. The proportions for 
the north quarter in 1609-10 were 746 cattle, thirteen horses, 
and 1,560 sheep ; but they fluctuated much, for in 1617-19 the 
cattle of the same quarter numbered 640, the horses seven, and 
the sheep 600. 

The introduction of sheep on Dartmoor probably showed a 
diminution in the deer, or, at all events, less attention to their 
interests ; for although red deer, where they roam widely, are 
not nearly so much affected by sheep pasturage as fallow deer, 
still it was always the principle to restrict sheep very narrowly 
in royal forests even when tenanted by the larger deer. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the red deer had 
become so plentiful on Dartmoor that the farmers bitterly com- 
plained, and at last they were exterminated by the staghounds 
of the Duke of Bedford, sent down from Woburn for that pur- 
pose. It has been said that "Tavistock was so glutted with 
venison that only the haunches of the animals killed were 
saved, the rest being given to the hounds," but this is obvi- 
ously a somewhat ridiculous exaggeration. Of late years red 
deer occasionally find their way to Dartmoor, straying thither 
from Exmoor, although its nearest point is over forty miles 

The return of the jurors of the court of survey of the manor 
of Lydford and the forest of Dartmoor on i3th October, 1786, 
as parcel of the possessions of the Duchy of Cornwall, is cited 
in full by Mr. Rowe. It supplies interesting particulars as to 
the then obligation of the tenants to assist the foresters of the 
east, south, and west quarters to make a winter drift for the 
colts at their own charge, and to drive them to Dunnabridge 
pound and keep them there for two days and three nights, and 
thence to the Prince's pound at Lydford, all at their own 
charge save the taking from the forester one halfpenny white 


loaf of bread apiece ; also to help in the three summer drifts of 
cattle between Midsummer and Lammas after like fashion, 
under pain of 6s. 8d. 

A further presentation by the jurors was with regard to 
divers towns or villages abutting on the forest and within the 
purlieu, whose cattle did daily escape into the forest. Such 
offenders were subject to fine, which fine was turned into a 
rent called Fines Villarum, hence those who dwell in these 
townships and pay these rents are called Venvillemen. They 
further presented that Venvillemen, in return for the rent, 
may keep as many cattle as they can winter on their tenements 
in the forest, and may cut turf for their own use. 

The Venville parishes number twenty-one. When the drifts 
were made, Venvillemen could recover their cattle or colts 
without paying any fine or charge, but the other remained 
pounded till the due fee had been discharged. The drift was 
summoned by the sound of a horn. 

Every parish of the county has a right to send cattle to this 
moor save Barnstaple and Totnes. 

The duchy now lets the four quarters of Dartmoor to the 
moormen, who in return charge a small fee for every sheep, 
bullock, or horse turned out not belonging to a Venvilleman, 
and this fee includes, as it did of old, a pledge of protection. 

None of our English forests have so many of their original 
boundary or ancient guide stones remaining as that of Dart- 
moor, and the reason is sufficiently obvious, namely, the 
imperishable character of the granite that abounds throughout 
the district. Such stones almost naturally assumed the shape 
of a cross in the days of the simple vivid faith of our forefathers. 
The old grey cross standing up on the bare moor would not 
only tell the moormen or the Venvillemen of the bounds of 
their respective rights, or point out the path to be taken by 
the wayfarer, but would serve to keep in remembrance the 
Saviour of mankind. In one of the earliest printed English 
books, by Wynken de Word, in the fifteenth century, occur 
these words : 

" For this reason ben Crosses by ye waye, that whan folke 
passynge see the Crosses, they sholde thynke on Hym that dyed on 
the Corss, and worshyppe Hym above all thynge." 


Notwithstanding the mischief that has been done to these 
Dartmoor forest crosses, by wanton ignorance or Puritan 
malevolence, upwards of thirty still remain. They are ad- 
mirably described and illustrated by Mr. William Crossing, 
in his Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor (1887). 


Abbenhalle, 277, 278 

,, Ralph, 71, 277, 278 

Abraham, John, 344 
Acclam family, 113 
Account of English Deer Parks, 85 
Ackworth park, 76, 80 
Acland, Bart., Sir Thomas Dyke, 339 
Acle, Reginald de, 245, 288 

,, Roger, 247 
Acornbury forest, 7 
Acres, Jean d', 227 
Acton Burn ell, 225 
Acton Henry de, 135 
Adam, huntsman, 49 

,, the fowler of Ayton, 39 
Adderley, Nicholas, 191 
"Afforestation," 5 
Agard, John, 172, 194 

,, Ralph, 172 

,, William, 142, 176, 197 
Agardsley, 138, 142 
Agisters, 10, 14, 23-4, 41 
Agricultural Reports of Leicestershire of 

Alant, 50 

Albemarle, George Monk, Duke of, 


Albiny, Philip de, 323 
Alconbury, 269 
Aldborough, Richard de, 213 
Aldburgh, 125 
Alder, 73, 74 
Alderbury, 314, 322 

Alderwasley, 73, 186, 191, 192, 195, 202 
Alexander, King of Scotland, 91 
Alice Holt forest, 78, 85, 309-10 
Alisson, Henry, 189 
Allantofts, 116 
Allen, Thurston, 168 
Allerdale, 92 
Allerston, 45 
Allerton, 213, 216 
Alne, the, 87, 90, 92, 129 
Alnwick Castle, 90 

forest, 7, 77, 88, 89, 90 

Alsop, John, 194 

Alston, 91 

Alton, 245 

Alvandeley, Richard de, 102 

Alvechurch, 147 

Alverston forest, 7 

Ambassadors, 77, 78 

Ambros, Richard, 317 

Amesbury, 313, 314, 324, 326, 327 

Amice, Widow, 148 

Amond, Robert, 140 

Amounderness forest, 44, 45, 80, 98, 102, 


Ampthill, 78, 79 

Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor, 348 
Andover, 327 
Andredes-weald, 301 
Andville, John de, 156 
Anecdotes of Cranborne Chase, 82 
Ankirk, 288 
Annals of the Ancient Royal Forests of 

Exmoor, 335 
Anne of Denmark, 339 
Anne, Queen, 219 
Annesley, 215 
Apethorpe, 253 
Aquitium, 160 
Arabilis, 72 

Aragon, Catherine of, 338, 339 
Archer, Richard, 228 

Thomas le, 161 
Arden forest, 229 
,, Simon, 197 
Arley, 148 
Armiger, 192 
Arnold forest, 213, 219 
Arrow, the, 229 
Arsic, Robert, 258 
Art de Venerie, L' , 61 
Arundel forest, 302 

,, Edmund, Earl of, 318 

,, Thomas, 318 
Ash, 68, 73, 74, 263, 293 
Ashborne, John de, 54 
Ashbourne, Robert de, 154 




Ashdale, 94, 95 
Ashdown, 37, 301, 302 
Ashfield, 132, 219 
Ashley hay, 186, 202 
Ashop, 170, 173, 177 
Ashover, 167 
Ashpotts, 74 
Ashton, 325 
Ashwood, 148 
Aspen, 68 
Assarts, u, 12 
Assheton, William, 193 
Assize of Woodstock, u, 68 
Aston, 150, 159, 240 

,, Hugh de, 228 
Astune, Walter de, 227 
Atherton de Ayntre, Henry de, 102 
Atkyn's Ancient and Present State of 

Gloucestershire, 274 
Attachment court, the, 13, 14 
Attewell, Adam, 34 
Avenel, William, 205 
Avon, the, 38, 227 

Micah, 95 
Awdley, Sir James, 311 
Axe-bearer, 19, 23, 153 
Axieholt, 309 
Ayer, Robert, 169 
Aylesbury, Walter de, 228 
Ayston, 236 
Ayton, Gilbert, 40, 45 

Babington, Anthony, 194 

,, Thomas, 168, 172 

Babthorp, Master, 1 19 
Bacon, Richard, 320 

,, Robert, 244 
Badelesmere, Gaucelin de, 131 
Badger, 35, 36-7 
Badyngton, Baldwin, 338 

,, Matilda, 338 

Bagel, William le, 336 
Baggley, Ralph, 293 
Bagley, 257 
Bagnall House, 85 
Bagott, Stephen, 174, 175 
Bagshawe, George, 170 

,, Thomas, 171, 174, 175 

,, William, 164, 171, 175 

Bagshott, 298 
Bagworth, 54 
Bailiwick, 14, 19 
Bailly, Robert, 311 
Baines" Lancashire, 98 
Baker, 172, 237 
Bakewell, 151, 153, 167 
Baldere, Richard, 191 
Baldlyston, Simon de, 103 
Banastre, Adam, 103 

,, Thomas, 103 
Bantrum, William, 292 

Barbery, Booth, 166 

Barbille, 1 19 

Barbour, Edward, 170, 171 

,, George, 323 

,, John, 323 

,, Thomas, 323 
Bardley, 226 
Bardolf, John, 214 
Bardulf, William, 206 
Barking, abbess of, 34 
Barley, Humphrey, 175 
Barlowe, George, 171 
Barnack, 239 
Barnsdale, 235 
Barnstaple, 347 
Barre, Peter de la, 209 
Barton, 138, 139, 141, 142 

,, Robert de, 93 

,, William de, 239 
Barylgate, 118 
Basford, 214, 219 
Basingwerk, 13, 134, 154, 158, 160, 166, 


Baskerville, Walter, 36 

Baslow, Richard de, 164 

Bass, 72 

Basset, Ralph, 147, 148 
,, Sir Robert, 58, 242 

Bassethawe, 58 

Bast, 72, 141 

Bateson, Miss, 232 

Baveney, 226 

Baynton, Henry, 325 

Beagle, 50 

Beard, 167 

Beasts of the forests, 25-40 

Beauchamp, James, 228 
,, John de, 259 

,, Sir Richard, 323 

,, Sir William de, 306 

Beauchief Abbey, 13 

Beaufoy, Ralph de, 155 

Beauliew, 307 

Beaumont, 234, 235, 237 

Beauties of England and Wales, 221 

Bebington, 131 

Beckford, 64 

Beech, 68, 73, 311 

Beeching, 302 

Bees and honey, 39-40 

Bek, Anthony, 88, 115, 126, 147, 148, 208 
,, Thomas, 208 
Walter, 208 

Beler, Roger, 189 

Belper, 8, 33, 43, 54, 183, 184, 185, 186, 
188, 189, 191, 192, 193, 198, 199, 200, 
202, 203 

Belton, 236 

Belvoir, 168 

Benefield, 241, 242, 243, 244 
,, Laund, 255 


Benselin, Henry, 239 
Bentinck, William, 95 
Bentley, 229 
Bercelet, 48, 52, 53 
Bere forest, 85, 309, 310-12 
Beresford Dale, 32 
Berewyk, Adam de, 101 

,, Thomas de, 101 
Bergh, Alexander de, in 

,, Bernard de, in 
Berkeley, Maurice, 236 
Berkshire forest, 266-7 
Bermondsey, 69 
Bernake, Gervase de, 33, 160 
Bernarius, 53 
Berner, the, 53 
Bernes, Dame Julyana, 63 
Bernwood forest, 35, 257, 258, 260, 261, 

262, 267, 268 
Berse, 277 
Bertram, Roger, 88 
Berwick, 109 
Bestwood, 76, 206, 207, 213, 215, 216, 


Bethune, Thomas de, 99 

Bevercote, William de, 212 

Bewdley, 225, 226 

Bewell, Thomas, 171 

Bicester, 257 

Bicknoure, 277 

Bidentes, 345 

Bigg, Walter, 165 

Biggin, 191, 198 

Bigland's Historical Collections, 274 

Bigod, Hugh, 240 

Bigot, Robert, 115 

,, Sir Ralph, 122 
Bikerstack, Ralph de, 104 
Bilhagh, 217, 218, 219, 220, 222 
Billahaugh, 207 
Binsted, 245 
Birch, 68, 73, 74 
Birkhow, 115 
Birkin, John de, 205 

,, Thomas de, 205 
Birkland, 217, 218, 220, 222 
Birkley, 140, 142 
Birkley Lodge, 42 
Birton, Joan de, 214 

,, Ralph de, 214 
Bishop of Lichfield's Chase, 146 
Bishops Waltham, 81 
Blackbrook, 153, 198 
Blackburn, 98 
Blackburnshire forest, 32, 98, 104, 105, 


Blackmore, 330, 331-2 
,, vale of, 86 

Blackthorn, 68, 73, 74 
Blackwater bridge, 290 
Blackwell, George, 174 

Blagden, 37 

Blagge, Mrs. Mary, 80 

Elaine's Encyclopedia of Rural Sports, 


Blake, John, 323 
Blakeney, 277 
Blakey Moor, 112 
Blandford, 84, 265 
Blandsby, 57, 119, 120, 124 
Blandy park, 109 
Blane, Richard, 64 
Bleasdale forest, 80, 98, 99, 100 
Blestro, 75 
Blettra, 75 
Bleythe, 277 
Blidworth, 204, 217, 222 
Bligh, 205, 206 
Bliorth, 212 
Blisworth, 246 
Bloodhound, 50 
Blount, Henry, 226, 227 
,, Walter, 168 
,, William le, 102 
Blundel, William, 99 
Blyth, 207 

Boar, wild, 25, 26, 30-2, 107-8, 154, 275 
Bode, Agnes, 209 
Robert, 209 
Bois, Thomas de, 289 
Boke of Saint Albans, The, 63 
Bolas, 72 

Boldon Book, the, 97 
Boldre, 73 

Boleyn, Sir Thomas, 338 
Bolt by, 213 
Bona vacantia, 5 
Bononia, Sir Francis de, 35, 260 
Booth, 43, 1 66 
Bordesley, 228 
Boroughbridge, 109 
Bosco, Ernald de, 258 
Bossington, 336 
Bot, John, 213 
" Bounderers," 9 
Bourchier, Sir Thomas, 292, 295 

,, William, 323 

Bow-bearer, 20, 94, 106, 177 
Bowden, 152, 159, 170 
Bower Chalk, 82 
Bowland forest, 32, 98, 104 
Bowls, 72 

Bowood, 85, 324, 325 
Boynton family, 113 
Bozon, Robert, 161 
Brabazon, Richard, 100 
Brache, 48, 50 
Bradburn, 69 
Bradburne, Henry de, 190 

,, Humphrey, 193, 194 

,, John, 192 

,, William, 202 

35 2 


Bradeford, Robert de, 134 
Braden, 325-6 
Bradfield, Thomas, 191 
Bradley, 192 

,, Richard de, 337 
Bradshaw, 69, 200 

Anthony, 200, 201 
Henry, 191 

John, 190, 191, 193, 195 
Robert, 195 
William, 200 
Braithwait, 93 
Brampton, 116, 338 
Bramshill, 81 
Branch, 328 

Brandenburgh, Duke of, 79 
Branding irons, 284 
Brante, Ralph, 334 
Braose family, 302 

,, William, 302 
Braundeston, Matilda de, 246 
Braunston, 234, 235, 236 
Bray, 295 

,, Ralph de, 101 

,, Sir Reynold, 169 
Braydon, 60, 81 
Bray ton, 331 
Breadsall, 213 
Bren, Llewellyn, 279 
Bret, John le, 213, 215 

,, Thomas, 35 

Breton, William le, 244, 260, 269, 333 
Breward, 146 

Brewere, William de, 31, 258 
Brewood, 147, 148, 223 
Bridevvode, 279 
Bridford, 292 
Bridge Casterton, 234 
Bridge, Mr., 237 
Bridgman, Sir Orlando, 324 
Bridgnorth, 146, 148, 223, 224, 225 
Bridlington, 116, 117 
Brien, Guy de, 279 
Brigstock, 35, 58, 240, 241, 242, 243, 

248, 250, 252, 253, 255, 256 
Brill forest, 267 
Bristol, 280 
Bristwick park, 76 
Britford, 313 
Briton, Ralph, 267 
Brockshaw, John, 200 
Brodeles, 59 
Brodenstoke, 324 
Broksylver, 167 
Bromall, John, 170 
Bromley, 104 

,, Thomas de, 146 
Brook, 235, 236 
Brotherton, 126 
Broughton, 44, 45, 102, 103 
Brown, Thomas, 172 

Bruce, Robert, 109 

Bruern, 258, 261 

Bruges, 148 

Bruys, Matilda de, 36 

Brymore, John de, 306 

Brymyngeshoe, 118 

Buck, the, 25 

Buckholt, 313, 315, 316, 317 

Buckhounds, 49 

Buckinghamshire forest, 267-8 

Buckstalls, 56-7 

Buddlesgate, 311 

Budley, 207 

Budworth, 133 

Bugg, Ralph, 160 

Bulax, 245 

Bulbe, Ralph, 337 

Bulkeley, Roger, 318 

Bullsmore, 184, 188, 189 

Bulmer, 128 

Bulners, Peter, 187 

Bulwick, 253 

Burford, 258 

Burgeye, Henry, 343 

Burgs, Henry de, 206 

Burleigh, Lord, 298 

Burnell, Hugh, 225 

,, Robert, 225 
Burton, 96, 140 

,, Mr., 231 
Burton-on-Trent, 140 
Burtonwood forest, 99 
Bushie Park, 78 
Butter, Henry, 200, 201 

,, James, Marquis of Ormonde, 


Butterly, 194 
Buxted, 301 
Buxton, 159 

Mr. E. N., 86, 283, 286 
Byfleet, 293 
Bygley, Ralph, 38 
Bygod, Roger, Earl of Norfolk, in 
Byke, a, 40 

Byngham, Robert de, 332 
Byron, Sir John, 196, 216 

Cableicium or cablicium, 7 
Cadworth, 328 
Caius, Dr., 48 
Caldew, 92 
Caldon, 236 
Calne, 322, 324 
Calton Park, 77 
Calverton, 14, 212, 215 
Cambrencis, Giraldus, 154 
Camden, Mr., 331 
Camerton, Andrew de, 306 
Camhead, 163 

Campana, 151, 152, 153, 154, 160, 161, 
165, 168, 170, 173, 183 



Campestres, 63 
Candover, 225 

,, Philip de, 52 

Canes cheverolereq, 49 
Cannock Chase, 145-8 

,, forest, 34 
Canonpath, 316 
Cantelupe manor, 276 
Cantilupe, Mabel de, 8 
,, William, 240 
Canute, 4, 44, 68 
" Capille," 171 
Capistra, 59 

Capoun, Sir Robert, 109 
Capriolus, 29 
Carbonarii, 343 
Carburton, 207 
Cardell, 69 

Cardticis. Thomas de, 208 
Carlisle, 90, 91, 122 

,, John, Bishop of, 215 
Carlton, 220, 242, 248 

,, William, 127 
Carnabie, Cuthbert, 89, 90 
Cassy, Sir John, 180 
Castiard, 71, 278 
Castle Donnington, 54 
Castlehay, 138, 139, 141, 142, 144 
Castlehay park, 80 
Castleman, Mr., 84 
Castleton, 150, 151, 152, 156, 165, 167 
Cat, wild, 33, 36 
Caton, John de, 100 
,, Ralph de, 40 
Cattle, 42-3, 342-5 
Catulos, 34 

Caux, Matilda de, 205 
Cave, Sir Ambrose, 174, 196 
Cavendish, Henry, Lord, 80, 144 
Cawledge park, 90 
Cervericii canes, 49 
Cervus elaphas, 26 
Chablis, 7 
Chaddesden, 155 
Chaddesley, 149 
Chaderton, Edward, 330 
Chafin, Mr., 82 
Chamber of the Forest, 152, 168, 171 

M Peak, 152 
Champagne, 183, 190 
Champyon, the, 174 
Chapel, 167 
Chapel-en-le-Frith, 151, 152, 163, 166, 

i 68, 179 

Chappell Henalt Walk, 78 
Chapter, the, 1 1 
Charcoal burning", 137 
Charlbury, 262 
Charlcote, Thomas de, 261 
Charles I., 77, 179, 201, 297 

II., 32, 79, 95, 130, 143, 144 

2 A 

Charnwood forest, 231-2 
Charnivood Forest, 231 
Charter of the Forest, the, 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, 
13, 22, 40, 42, 47, 60, 95, 227, 229, 284, 

330, 33i 
Chase, a, 2 

Chaumpvent, Peter de, 92 
Cheddar forest, 7, 334 
Chelmorton, 153, 167, 178 
Cheminage and Fence Month, 59-61, 

127, 147, 187, 272 

Chertsey, 34, 38, 287, 288, 290, 293 
Cheselden, John, 236 
Cheshire forest, 20, 131-6 
Cheshire, Ormerod's, 131 
Chester, 36, 38, 39, 131, 132, 134, 136, 


Chesterfield, 205 
Chestnut, sweet, 68, 71, 278 
Chettle Common, 84 

,, Lodge, 84 
Cheut forest, 78 
Cheverellus, 29 
Chevin, 192, 198, 202, 203 

,, House, 199, 200 
Chevinsyde, 201 
Chevrones, 206 
Cheyne, Roger, 328 
Child, Mr. T. F., 204 
Chilterns, the, 257 
Chilton Foliat, 266 
Chingford, 283 

Walk, 78 

Chinley Common, 32 
Chippenham, 322, 323 
Chipping, 105 
Chisworth, 179 
Cholmley, Richard, 119, 120, 122, 123, 124 

,, Roger, 122 
Christchurch, 38 
Churchill, 149 
Chute forest, 290, 327-8 
Chyllynton, 146 
Chymynagium, 59 
Clare, Gilbert de, 227 
Clare, Robert, 31 
Claret, John, 157 
Clarendon forest, 7, 9, 13, 20, 29, 31, 37, 

38, 39, 41, 43, 49. 52, 56, 57, 71, 73, 

85, 313-22 
Clark, Richard, 200 
Claughton forest, 101 
Clay, 219 
Clee forest, 226 
Cleford, Robert de, 342 
Cleley, 237 
Cleobury, 225 
Clerk, Philip le, 148 
Clewer, 58 
Cliff forest, 46, 239, 240, 250, 251, 252, 

2 55. 2 5 6 



Cliff, William de, 275 
Clifford family, 226 

,, Isabel de, 92 

,, Robert de, 71, 92 

,, Rog-er de, 148, 276, 278, 288 
Clifton, 129, 213 

Clipston forest, 7, 207, 212, 213, 215 
Clitheroe, 98, 104 
Clowe, Thomas a, 58 
Clumber, 219, 221 
Clypston Park, 76 
Clyve, Thomas de, 135 
Coan, Robert, 137 
Cobbel, William, 337 
Cobham, 287, 288 
Cockayne, Sir Thomas, 64 
Cockshut, a, 39 

,, farm, 39 

Coit Andred, 301 
Cokayne, Sir Edward, 201 
,, Sir John, 166 

,, Sir Thomas, 171, 195 
Cokefeld, John de, 208 
Cokehill, 147 
Cokendale, 249 
Coket, Francis, 129 
Coking", Richard, 139 
Cokker, 101 
Cokkyes, 130 
Colchester, 284 
Cold Norton, 259 
Cole, the, 267 
Colebrook, 72, 183, 186, 187, 190, 195, 

197, 201, 203 
Coleshill, 267 
Collam, John, 271 
Colleshull, Robert, 343 
Collinson's History of Somerset, 329, 335 
"Collvng," 50, 163 
Collyweston, 252, 253 
Colne, 104, 105 

Colombieres, Matthew de, 245, 288 
Colson, John, 123 

Colt, a, 33 

Columbarius, Matthew de, 52 
Colville, Robert, 113 
Colwick, 208 

,, William, 208 
Colvvych, William, 328 
Colyn, William, 317 
Common Law, the, 2 
Compton, Thomas de, 260 
Conet forest, 99 
Coney, 26, 37 
Conisborough Park, 76 
Constable, Robert, 1 19 

,, Sir Marmaduke, 119 

Constitutiones de Foresta, 4 
Cook, William, 192 
Cookham, 295 
Cope, Sir John, 81 

Copleston, John, 343 

Coptre, 235 

Copulas, 206 

Coquet, 87, 88, 90 

Corbet, John, 148 

Corby, 237, 242, 248, 255 

Corfe Castle, 331 

Corkley, 187, 188 

Cornbury Park, 85, 261 

Cornet, Agnes, 243 

Cornhill, William, 287 

" Cornilw," 168 

Cornwall, Duchy of, 167, 346 

,, Edmund, Earl of, 291, 342 

,, Richard, ,, 243, 342 

Corston, 225 

Cossham, 322 

Corviser, Ralph le, 185 

Coterell, Warner, 158 

Cotterstock, 247 

Cottingham, 248 

Cotton, 235 

,, Collection, the, 59 

Coucher Book, the, 35, 116 

Court Thorn, 95 

Courtenay, Philip de, 338 
,, Thomas de, 338 

Country Contentments, 64 

Coveham, 288 

Coventry, 156 

Cowhey, 166 

Cowhouse Lane, 186, 199 

Crab-apple, 73, 143, 197 

Crakehall, John of, 269, 270 

Cranborne Chase, 9, 31, 35, 37, 60, 61, 
79, 81, 82, 84, 297, 299, 300 

Crancumbe, George de, 259 

Crawlev, 31 1 

Crayke, 128 

Creditor), 340 

Cressebien, Richard, 330 

Crepping, Richard de, 88, 92, 100, 209, 

277- 330 
Crich, 193 

,, Chase, 190 
Cricklade, 325 

,, hospital, 60 
Criel, Nicholas de, 243 
Croft, Roger de, 101 
Cromwell, Lord, 129, 130 
,, Oliver, 142 

,, Thomas, 296 

Crooke, Sir Henry, 263 
,, Sir John, 263 
,, Unton, 263 
Cropton, 1 18 
Cross, 185, 186, 187 
Crossbow, 252-3, 255 
Cross Cliff, 45, 1 1 8, 122 
Crossing, Mr. William, 348 
Crowford bridge, 293 



Croyland, 249 
Croxall, 155 
Croxteth park, 98 
Croxton, 206 
Cruce, Robert de, 138 
Cruchell, 160 
Crumbwell, John de, 93 
Culbone, 336 
Cumberland forest, 90-5 
Cumberland, Jefferson's, 95 
Cumnor, 257 
Curson, Francis, 196 

,, Henry, 213 

,, Richard, 311, 323 
Curte Clarke, 169 
Curzon, John, 200 

,, Richard, 155 

,, William, 155 

Dacra, William de, 93 
Dalby, 108 
Dallowe, Mr., 80 
Dalton, John, 111, 114, 115 
Dama vulgar is, 26 
Damericii canes, 49 
Daniel, John, 161, 165 
Darley abbey, 13, 69 

,, Dale, 153 
Darrell, family, 326 
Dart meet, 345 
Dartmoor forest, 2, 8, 22, 24, 41, 43, 44, 

53. l6 7> 340-8 
Datchet, 290 
Daubeny, Lord, 338 
Davenport, Richard, 136 
Day, Thomas, 193 
Daye, Richard, 299 
Daxsholt, 104 
Dean, An Historical and Descriptive 

Account of the Forest of, 274 
Dean, The Personalities of the Forest of, 

Dean forest, 8, 13, 20, 30, 31, 66, 71, 85, 

229, 230, 274-82 
Debenham, John of, 270 
,, Michal, 270 

De Cableicio, 7 
Defeodo, 101 
Deepdale, 121, 234 
Dear-hays, 59 
Deer-brouse, 19, 255 
Deer-leaps, 56 
Deer, list of, 76-7 
Derby, 33, 184, 200 
Derbyshire, forest, 98, 99, 102, 103 
Delamere forest, 132, 134-5 
" Derebrowse," 19, 255 
" Derefal," 255 
Dernhall abbey, 13 
Derry Hill, 322 
Derwent, the, 37, 125, 181, 184, 185, 186 

Description of Leicestershire, 231 
Descriptive List of the Deer Parks and 

Paddocks of England, 85 
Despencer, Hugh le, 1 10 
Dettrick, John, 194 
Devizes, 322, 323 
Devyle, Rich, 272 
Dickson, Carr, 74 
Dieulacres abbey, 13, 158 
Dig-by, Everard, 235, 236 

,, Thomas, 248 
Digge, Richard, 235 
Dinting, 179 
Dionysia, 114 
Disafforestation, 6 
Dispencer, Hugh, 206, 262 
Dixon, Mr., 297 
Doddington, 161 
Doe, the, 25 
Dole, 328 

Domesday Survey, 4, 44, 136, 181, 204, 
Done, family, 133 [ 2 3 2 

,, Richard, 133, 135 
Donnington, 184 
Dorsetshire forests, 330-2 
" Dottard oaks," 197 
Doughty, Thomas, 195 
Dove, Richard, 36 

,, the, 32 
Dovedale, 32 
Doverbeck, 206 
Doverhay, 336 
Drag, 139 
Draw, 139 
Drayton, 147, 148 

Henry, 245 

,, Michael, 274 

,, Ralph, 245 
Dronfield Church, 154 
Druscombe, 341 

Dryden, Sir Henry, 50, 61, 64, 65, 66 
Duffield, 69, 140, 181, 183 

Castle, 182 

,, Chase, 33 

,, forest, 8, 9, 18, 24, 37, 39, 42, 
43, 73, '89, 190. '9 1 , 197, 

198, 199, 200, 2OI, 2O2 

,, Frith (forest), 2, 8, 9, 13, 16, 27, 

28, 37, 39, 4, 42, 53, 54, 57. 
58, 59, 69, 72, 74, 77, 181-203 
Dulverton, 336, 337 
Dunbridge, 344, 345 
Duncan, Lord, 282 
Dunbryge, 344 
Dunnabridge, 344, 346 
Dunyton, 206 
Durham, 126 

,, Cathedral, 197 

,, forest, 96-7 
Dykes, Richard, 95 
Dynham, John, 338 



Easingwold, forest of, 7, 127, 129 

East Grinstead, 301 

Easthampstead, 296 

Eastlegh, Wilkin of, 224 

Easton, 244 

Easton wood, 74 

Ebbeston, 116 

Ebisham, 288 

Eblebourn, 313 

Ecclesburn, the, 185, 186, 189 

Edale, 33, 43, 150, 166, 173, 177 

Eddington, 255 

Eddisbury, 133 

Eden, the, 91 

Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, 100, 102, 

137. 181 

Edward I., 3, 8, 20, 33, 35, 49, 52, 91, 

126, 152, 162-3, 181, 214, 246 

,, II., 30, 52-3, 93, 1 08, 1 10, in, 

128, 212 
III., 22, 38, 6l, I IO 

IV., 20, 37 

VI., 73 

the Black Prince, 132 

the Confessor, 5, 267, 336 

Duke of York, 61, 62, 64 

Edwin, Mr. Chas., 282 

Edwinstowe, 14, 212, 215, 218 

Egbert, 4 

Egginton, John, 193 

Egham, 288, 293 

Egham Walk, 79 

Ela, Countess of Warwick, 262 

Elder, 68, 73 

Eleanor, Queen, 228, 261, 315 

Elizabeth, 73, 297 

Ellerton, prior of, 57, 60 

Ellis, Mr. W. S., 302 

Elm, 68, 73 

Elmedon, Walter de, 146 

Elton, Master, 194 

Eltonheved, Richard de, 102 

Ely, 115 

Elynton, Ivo de, 160 

Emborne, the, 266 

Empington bridge, 235 

Empson, Richard, 253 
,, Mr., 122 

Emson, Richard, 330 

Enfield Chase, 78-81 
,, Great Park, 78 

Engaine Warner, 155, 158-9 

English Dogges, 48 

English and Scottish Popular Ballads, 

Epping forest, 29, 40, 46, 85, 283, 286 
Walk, 78 

Equitium, 160 

Erdeswyk, Thomas de, 135 

Erdinton, Thomas de, 224 

Eresby, 208 

Ermynthwait, 93 

Escat, Richard le, 91 

Eslington, 36 

Essex forest, 34, 41, 43-4, 47, 69, 78, 


Essex, the Forest of, 283 
Essoins, the, n, 112, 306 
Est, Richard, 271 
Esturney, Adam, 341 
Eton, 262 

Eure, William le, 115 
Evelyn, 71, 210, 222 
Everard, John, 338 
Everingham, Adam de, 205, 214 
,, John de, 205 

,, Robert de, 37, 205, 206, 

207, 209, 214 
Evermuth, Beatrice de, 206 

,, Walter de, 206 
Evesham, 228, 234 

,, Hugh de, 146 
Ewerby, John, 311 
Ewyas, Richard of, 245, 246 
Exford, 336 
Exmoor forest, 2, 8, 30, 53, 85, 333-8, 

34 1 . 34 6 

Exploration of Dartmoor, 340 
Eyam, 166 
Eynsham, 262 
Eyre, Edward, 173 

,, forest, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 

,, Robert, 174, 175 
Eyries of hawks and falcons, 38 
Eyton's Shropshire, 224, 226 

Fairfax, Guy, 119 
Fairfield, 153 
Fairlop Oak, 286 
Falcon, 38 
Faldage, 248 
Faldagium, 345 
Fall of Needivood , The, 145 
Fallow deer, 25, 26, 27 
Farley, 311, 324 
,, Hall, 200 
Farnborough, 289 
Farndale, 114, 125 
Farnham, Nicholas de, 260 
Fauconburg, Sir John de, 109, no 
Faversham, 288 
Fawn, 28 
Feckenham forest, 7, 149, 226, 227, 228, 


" Fee-trees," 70 
Felsted, 284 
Fence month, 14, 19, 41, 59-61, 94, 103, 


Fenie Wood, 295 
Fennes, William de, 314 
Fenton, 166 

,, Christopher, 129 



Fermisona, 50 
Fermyng, 252 
Fernditch Walk, 84 
Feme, Richard, 200 
Ferrars, Thomas de, 134 
Ferrers, family, 137, 183 

,, Henry de, 181 

,, Robert, Earl of, 33, 60, 161, 
162, 181 

,, Sir Humphrey, 200 

,, William de, 154, 155 
Feta, 28 
Feton, 28 

Feudal History of Derbyshire, 28, 29 
Fewterer, the, 53 
Filthycroft, 319 
Finchampstead, 295, 296 
Finchford, 235 
Findern, William de, 160 
Fines Villarum, 347 
Fineshead, 249 
Finmere forest, 7 
Firebote, 68 
Fisher, Mr., 5, 43, 286 
Fitz-Giles, Nicholas, 188 

-Godfrey, Richard, 163 

-Nicholas, Ralph, 155, 159, 258 
,, Thomas, 163 

Nigel, John, 160 

Osborn, W T illiam, 225 

Peter, Walter, 314 

Ralph, John, 186 

-Reinfred, Gilbert, 99 

Stephen, Ralph, 205 
Fitzherbert, John, 172, 194 
,, Justice, 142 

,, Peter, 107 

Fitzhugh, John, 225 
Fitzstephen, 71 
Fitzwarren, 338 

Fitzwilliam, Sir William, 295, 296 
Flagg, 178 

Flaxley Abbey, 71, 275, 276, 278, 280 
Fleming, Stephen, 213 
Fletcher, William, 95 
Fletching-, 301 
Flitteris, 235 

Foix, Gaston de, 50, 61, 65 
Foljambe, Cecily, 165 
Godfrey, 194 
Henry, 164 
John, 158 
Roger, 158 

Thomas, 33, 160, 161, 164 
William, 163, 164 
Folksworth, 270 
Folowe, Robert, 172, 173 
Folyot, Richard, 208 
Fool, John the, 325 
Ford, Robert de, 289 
Forde, Thomas, 293 

Foregate, the, 228 
Forest Agistments, 41-6 
Forest-and-Frith, 96 

,, Charter. See Charter of the 

" Forest Districts," 5 

,, eyres, 10 

,, Inquisitions, 15 

,, Law, 2, 4, 5 

,, Officers, 17-24 
Forest Pleas, 2, 16, 25, 29, 70, 92, 227, 

2 34> 2 37> 268 > 26 9> 284 
Forest Quarter, 96 

,, Ridge, 301 
Forest Scenery, 73, 305 
Foresta de Lancaster, 98 
Forestarii equitii, 20 
Foresters, 19-22 
Foresters-of-fee, 20, 21, 33, 105 
Forestry and the New Forest, 304 
Forests, list of, 6 
Forges, Itinerant, 8, 275 
Forty-day Court, 14 
Fosbroke's Record of Gloucestershire, 


Foster, William, 318 
Fotheringhay, 249, 251, 253 
Foucher, Cicely, 190 
,, Robert, 190 
Fouilloux, Jacques du, 64 
Foulbridge, 116 
Fountains, 122 
" Fowl of the Forest," 26 
Fox, the, 3, 25, 26, 33, 34-5 
Foxlove, John, 118 
" Foxtrees," 251, 252 
Frank, Geoffrey, 128 
Franketon, David de, 52, 53 
Freeman, Professor, 4 
Freemantle forest, 7 
Free-warren, 3 
Freford, 34 
Frely, Robert, 188 
Fretham, Hugh, 171 
Frimley, 293 
Frodsley, 225 
Frost, William, 311 
Fuklyn, Giles, 140 
,, John, 140 
Fuller, 280 

Fulwood forest, 44, 98, 99, 102, 103, 117 
Furches forest, 7 
Furness, abbot of, 102 
Furnival, Thomas de, 155, 160, 161, 162, 


Galtres forest, 9, 39, 76, 125-30, 208 
Gardiner, Roger, 264 
Gatesgill, 93 
Gaunter, Alan le, 246 
Gauntlett, Thomas, 320 



Gaystall, 93, 94, 95 

Gazehound, 50 

Geddington, 240, 252, 255, 256 

Gedling-, John, 191 

Geese, 154 

Gelet, Richard, 239 

Cell, Sir John, 180 

Genn, William, 246 

Gentil, John le, 100 

,, William, 104 
Gentleman's Recreation, 64 
George Inn, Forster's Booth, 66 
Gernet, Benedict, 99 

,, Roger, 99 
Gervase de Bernake, 33 
Giffbrd, John, 228, 247 
Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, 177 
Gilbewin, Geoffrey, 239 
Gillingham, 330-1, 332 
Gilpin, William, 73, 305 
Gladwin, John, 220 
Glossop, 150, 151, 154, 156, 177 
Gloucester, 275, 276 

,, Humphrey, Duke of, 248 

,, Thomas ,, 280 

Goathland, 117, 118,. 122 
Goats, 24, 45-6 
Goband, John, 155, 156, 159 
Godalming, 310 
Godbradshawe, 177 
Godstowe, 259 

Gomfrey, Adam, 152, 154, 161, 165 
,, Richard, 154 
,, Thomas, 154 
Good, Mr. Henry, 82 
Goodrych, William, 214 
Goodwyn, William, 330 
Gorges, Eleanor de, 338 

,, Ralph de, 338 
Gorse, 68 
Goscote, 235 
Gould, E. T., 220 
Gower, John, 118 
Grafton Park, 78, 79, 296 
,, Robert of, 243, 245 
,, Thomas of, 243 
Gray, Sir Reginald, 235, 248, 252, 253, 
292, 330 

,, Richard de, 323 
Great Casterton bridge, 235 

,, Dean, 277 

,, Malvern, 227 

,, Oakley, 242, 248 

,, Park, 299, 300 
Gredleye, Jphn de, 102 
Gredling Park, 76 
" Green hue," 69 
Greendale Oak, 222 
Greenthwaite, 94 
Gregory, Ralph, 190 
Grendon, John, 345 

Grenehill, John, 280 
Grenerigg, Elias de, 92 

,, William de, 92 
Grenleng, Robert, 246 
Gresham, Richard, 169 
Gresley, Alan, 155 

,, Peter de, 164 

,, Thomas, 155, 192 

,, William, 194 
Gretton, 248, 255 

,, Thomas de, 161 
Greves forest, 132 

Grey, John de, 155, 156, 158, 159, 213 
Greyhounds, 3, 35, 47-8, 50, 104, 241 
Greytree, 229 
Grim, Roger, 239 
Grimston, 208 
Grindsbrook Booth, 166 
Groby, 231 

Grosvenor family, 133 
Groveley forest, 315, 316, 317, 318, 328-9 
Grueythwaite, 94 
Grymstede, John de, 314 
Grynley park, 76 
" Guarys," 271 
Guildford, 38, 42, 58, 288, 289, 290, 292, 

2 93 2 95> 296, 298 
Gurdun, Adam, 277, 310 
Guy, huntsman, 108 
Gvvash, the, 235 
Gyffard, John, 146, 147 
Gylse, 90 
Gynet, Ingebram, 101 

Hacche, Eustace de, 208 

Hackness, 113, 114 

Haddon, 192 

Haericii canes, 49 

Hagley, 149 

Hainault, 283, 286 

Haldane, Nicholas, 109 

Halghton, Thomas de, 104 

Hall, Richard, 169 

Halmote, 104 

Halter, a, 58, 59 

Hambledon, 311 

Hamburg, Henry de, 102 

Hamelake, 118 

Hamfordshoe, 248 

Hamilton, Ralph, 155 

Hamond, John, 311 

Hampshire, the forests of, 304-12 

Hamorton Dale, 252 

Hampstead, 314 

Hampton Court, 296 

,, Robert, 36, 113 
Hanborough Walter de, 306 
Hanbury, 80, 137, 138, 139, 141, 142, 


,, John de, no 

Hanger, Richard atte, 306 



Hanslope, 245, 246 

,, John of, 246 

,, Simon of, 245 
Hansted, Maria, 53 
Harbela, John de, 93 
Hardegill, Edward, 263 
Hardwick Park, 85 
Hardy, Roger, 36 
Hare, the, 3, 25, 26, 30, 33, 34, 35-6, 

33 2 

Harevvin's mill, 235 

Harland, 98 

Harleruding, 245 

Harly, John, 193 

Harnham Bridge, 61 

Harpsford, 292 

Harrey, Thomas de, 101 

Harriers, 49 

Harrop, 104 

Hart, the, 25, 50 

Hartfield, 301 

Harting, 32 

Hartington, 32, 162, 188 

,, William, Marquis of, 144 

Hartley, 268 

Hartoft, 118 

Harwood, 96 

Haslebache, 179 

Haslewood, Thomas, 248 

Hassop, 179 

Hastings, Edward, Lord, 174, 235, 236 
,, Edmund de, no, 113, 120 
,, Ralph de, no, 112, 113, 115 
,, Roger, 119, 120, 121, 122 
,, Sir William, 109, 168, 215 

Hatfield, 219, 283 
,, Chase, 130 
,, Regis, 284 

Hathelakestan, Hasculf de, 233 

Hathersage, 57, 151 

,, Matthew de, 57 

Hatheway, Ralph, 277 

Hatton, Mr. George Finch, 255 

Haugh Rise, 1 15 

Haughdale, 113 

Havering forest, 7, 31, 258, 283, 284 

Hawk, 26, 38 

Hawkridge, 336, 337 

Hay, Henry del, 186 

Haybote, 68, 69 
Haydock, Richard de, 135 

Hayfield, 177, 179 

Haygrove, 279 

Hay ward, John, 128 

Haywood, 222 

Haxby, 129 

Hazel, 68, 73, 74 

Hazelwood, 186, 198 

Heade, Walter atte, 344 

Headington, 263, 264 

Heage, 33, 191, 193, 198 

Hebbe, 164 
Heeson, John, 89 
Helot, John, 190 
Helsley, 131 
Hemingborough, 119 
Heneage, Sir Thomas, 296 
Hengham, Ralph de, 147 
Henley, 292 

,, Brother William de, 160 
Henley-in-the-Heath, 294 
Henrietta Maria, Queen, 125 
Henry I., 31, 257 

II., 5, 9, n, 33, 41, 60, 71, 95, 

99, 154, 267 

,, III., 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 34, 36, 41, 46, 
49, 60, 88, 99, loo, 108, 125, 
137, 162, 244, 325, 331 
,, IV., 128, 181, 191 
VI., 128 
,, VII., 7, 30, 106, 118, 120, 132, 

168, 294, 307 
,, VIII , 73, 89, 123, 142, 170, 172, 

!95. 2 95> 296 

,, Earl of Lancaster, 102 
,, Lord Percy, 30 
,, the Fowler of Barugh, 39 
Hereditary foresters-of-fee, 20 
Herons, 39, 302 
Herpesford, 290 
Hesket, 93, 95 
Heyden, William, 324 
Heyes, Ralph of, 245 
Heyrae, Henry de, 314 
High Forest, the, 206, 207 

,, Lindes, 138 

,, Lynns, 141 

,, Peak forest. See Peak forest 
Higliam Ferrers park, 79 
Highlands, 142 
Hillulidgate, 127 
Hilton, 96, 174 
Hinton, Hulle of, 224 
Hippingscomb, 327 
Historical Recollections for a History of 

Staffordshire, 146 
History of Tarn-worth, 140 
Hoar Lynte, 72, 141 
Hoare's Wiltshire, 322, 329 
Hodleston, 104 
Hog, Robert le, 134 
Hoghton, Henry de, 104 

,, Richard de, 103 
Hog's Back, 290 
Holand, Robert de, 54, 187 
Holbrok, Richard de, 246 
Holbrook, 191, 193, 198 
Holcot, John, 251 
Holes, Roger, 318 
Holland forest, 105 

,, Henry, Earl of, 309 
Hollingworth, Robert, 170 



Hollinhead forest, 74 

Hollinsclough, 166 

Holly, 68, 73, 74 

Holm, 119 

Holmcoltram, 92 

Holmeby Park, 79 

Holnicote, 336 

Holn Park, 90 

Holton, Richard of, 224 

Honey. See Bees 

Honor of Peverel, the, 150, 151 

Hood, Robin, 204 

Hook, John atte, 289 

Hooton, 132 

Hope, 150, 151, 152, 153 

,, Bowdler, 225 

,, Mr. Beresford, 32 
Hopedale, 151, 152, 166 
Hopemaloysel, 279 
Hopping, 37 

Mill, 37, 38 
,, Weir, 37 
Horewell, 226, 227 
Horewood forest, 7 
Hornbeam, 68, 73 
Hornedroare, 295 
Home's Town of Pickering, 43 
Horse-breaking, 160, 165 
Horsell, 293 

Horsenden, William de, 155, 159, 160 
Horses, 23, 24, 43-4 
Horston forest, 7 
Hotham, John, 119, 122 
Hotherinde, John, 134 
Hoton, William, 94 
Hough, 1 88 
Houghton, Benjamin, 80 

,, Simon, 270 

Houle, Ralph, 343 
Hound, 33 
" Houndgeld," 47 
Hounds and Hunting, 47-67 
Housebote, 68, 69 
How Park, 80 

Howard, Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, 325 
Howl Hill, 230 
Huby, 127, 129 
Hucklow, 159 
Hudham, Nicholas de, 88 
Hughson, Colonel, 180 
Hulland, 39, 54, 183, 186, 187, 190, 191, 

192. '93. J94. '95. J97> !9 8 > J 99> 2O 3 
Hulleson, John, 187 
Hundred Rolls, the, 33 
Hungayth, Ralph, 129 
" Hungell," 47 
Hungerford, Nicholas de, 54 
,, Robert de, no 

Hunt, Richard le, 165 
Hunter, Nicholas, 95 
Hunters, 81 

Hunting costumes, 64-7 

Hunting treatises, 61-4 

Huntingdon, 128 

Huntingdonshire forest, 268-73 

Hurdum, Captain David, 180 

Hurst, Peter del, 157 

Hutchins, Mr., 31, 82, 84 

Hutchin's History of Dorset, 330, 332 

Hutchinson, Mr. Horace G., 304, 305 

Hutton Bushell, 40, 45 

Huttun, Sheriff, 128 

Hyde Park, 78 

Hyend, William, 213 

Hyett, George, 280 

Hyling Park, So 

Ibote, no 

Idridgehay, 186, 191, 198 
Ifwood forest, 7 
Ightenhill, 104 
Ilchester, 335, 336, 337 
Ilger, John, 271 
Illingworth, Ralph, 194 
Inbounds, 9 
Incelemor wood, 96 
Ingebram family, 101 
Ingenia, 34 
Ingham, 65 

,, Oliver de, 132 

,, Oliver, tomb of, 65 
Inglehard, John, 290 
Inglesham, 267 
Inglewood forest, 22, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 


Inkel, Thomas, 239 
Inkpen, 266 
Inlodges, 9, 321 
In lupariis, 33 
" In mercy," 12 
Inquests, 15 
Instaur de Duff eld, 188 
Insula, Brian de, 155, 159 
Ireton, John, 194 

,, Wood, 198 
Iron smelting, 3, 8, 198 
Isabel of Clifford, 56 
Isabella, Queen, 93, 132 
Isham, Robert, 251 
Ispannia, Alphonsus, 261 

,, James de, 261 
Itinerant forges, 8 
luelhering, Ralph, 245, 246 
Ivetanfield, 93 
Ivy Church, 38, 41, 318 

Jackson, Thomas, 190 
James I., 32, 177, 297 

,, Earl of Northampton, 80 
Jefferson, 95 
Jenynges, John, 129 
Jesson, William, 201 



John, King-, 6, 8, 9, 29, 31, 34, 49, 90, 

95, 99, 100, 107, 221, 223, 224, 275 
John, huntsman, 108 
John of Lexington, 37 
Johnson, Robert, 252 

,, Thomas, 173, 200 
Journal of Forestry, 228 
Juniper, 68 
Justice Seat, the, 151, 152, 254, 318 

Katharine of Braganza, 95 

Kaye, Richard, 196 

Kedleston park, 85 

Kelly, William, 344 

Kemble, 4 

Kenilworth, 54, 189, 236 

Kennet, the, 266, 267 

Kettering-, 255 

Kevelioc, Hugh, Earl of Chester, 136 

Keynsham forest, 7 

Kidderminster, 149 

Kidkirk, 95 

Kildale, 112 

Killamarsh, 153 

Kilpeck forest, 7 

Kilvington, John de, 108, 109, 110, in, 


Kings Delph, 271 
Kingscliff, 46, 240, 252 
Kingsley of Kingsley, 133 

,, Ralph de, 133 
Kingsmead Priory, 13 
Kingstag bridge, 332 
Kingston, 333 

,, family, 280 

Kingswood, 283 
Kingthorpe, 120 
Kinlet, 225, 226 
Kinneton, Henry de, 260 
Kinver, 9, 145, 148-9, 223 
Kinwardstone, 326 
Kirkby, 212, 219 

,, Robert de, 212 
Knaresborough forest, 80, 130 
Knight, John, 339 
,, Stephen, 345 
,, William, 31 1 
Kniveton, John, 192 

,, Nicholas, 193, 194, 195 

,, William, 200 
. Knolls, Richard, 172 
Knossington, 233, 235 
Kynthorp, Petronilla de, 1 10 

Lacock, 323, 324 
Lacio, Nicholas de, 277 
Lacy, Ada, 90, 91 

,, Alice de, 98 

,, family, 98 

,, Gilbert de, 313 

,, Reginald, 90 

Lady Park of Belper, 183, 194 

Ladyshaw Wood, 193 

Lancashire, Baine's, 98 

Lancashire forests, 20, 22, 74, 98-106 

Lancester, 98, 101, 102 

,, Castle, 74, 100, 101, 102 
,, Duchy of, 35, 59, 70, 80, 98, 
137, 150, 166, 167, 169, i8i| 

,, Henry, Earl of, 112, 113 
,, John, Duke of, 190 
,, Thomas, Earl of, 98, 109, 

tip, 113 
,, William de, 96 

Langdon, 118, 122 

Langesdon, Mathew de, 157 

Langford, Ralph, 193 

Langham, 235 

Langlandebroke, 101 

Langley, Geoffrey, 206, 243 
,, John de, 262 
,, Thomas de, 31, 258, 259, 261 

Langport, 336, 337 

Langton, Robert, 233 

Langwith Bridge, 213 

Lansdowne, Marquis of, 324 

Lanthony, 258 

Lardiner, David le, 126 
,, Philip le, 126 

Lark, 26 

Lascelles, Hon. G. W. , 304, 305 

Lascy, Matilda de, 96 
,, Walter de, 275 

Later Forest History, 76-86 

Latimer, William, 117, 215 

Launde Priory, 13 

La Venerie, 64 

Laverstoke, 314, 322 

,, Jordan de, 314 

" Lawing," 47 

Lawson, Sir George, 129 

Laxpeniard wood, 277 

Laying, Ralph, 139 

Layrthorpe Bridge, 128 

Laythegryme, 105 

Leach, Peter de, 160 

Lead smelting, 3, 198 

Leake, Thomas, 217 

Leche, Sir Philip, 191 

" Le Cowhouse," 190 

Lee, Nicholas de, 100 
,, Randall, 169 

Leek forest, 136 

Leen, 206 

Lees, Mr. Edwin, 228 

Legh, Reginald de, 147 
,, Sir William de, 135 

Leghe, Thomas, 194 

Le Haw, 235 

Leicester Abbey, 13 

,, Roger de, no 



Leicester, William of, 269 

Leicestershire and Rutland forests,23i-6 

Leighfield forest, 235 

Leland, 96, 227, 330 

Lench, Peter de, 277 

Lenta, the, 266, 267 

Lenton, 13, 29, 158, 214, 220 

Lepers, 101, 243 

Leporarius, 47 

Lestrange, Robert, 131 

Roger, 147, 160 
Levere, William, 1 1 1 
Lewisham woods, 38, 113, 119 
Lewes, 234 

,, battle of, 162 
Lewknor, Geoffrey de, 269 
Lexington, Robert de, 155, 156, 158, 159 
Lichfield, 147, 148, 156, 287 
Likenfield Park, 76 
Lilleshall Abbey, 13, 158, 166 
Lime, 68, 71-2, 118, 141 
Limehound, 48, 50 
Linby, 14 
Lincoln, 206-8, 212 
Linde, Thos. de la, 332 
,, John ,, 332 
,, Walter ,, 332 
Lindley, 206, 212, 215 
Lindsay, Robt. of, 246 
Lion, Peter de, 224 
Lisburn, Lord, 81 
Litchfield, John, 220 
Little Dean, 277 

Eye, the, 235 

Hucklow, 1 80 

Malvern, 227 

Oakley, 248 

Park, the, 253, 297 

Weldon, 255 
Litton, 1 80 

Livre de Chasse, 61, 64 
London, 39 

,, Sir Walter de, 39 
Long, Thos., 323 
Longcombe, 337 

Longdendale, 150-2, 154, 163, 177 
Longford, Sir Ralph, 172, 194-5 
Longley Park, 185, 188 
Lonsdale forest, 98-100, 102-4 
Loretti, Centisse, 148 
Lough, Edm., 325 
Loughborough, 174, 206 
Loughton, 283 
Lovel, John, 261 
Lovet, John, 242 
Lowe, Anthony, 195 

Thos., 195 
Lowick, 243, 246 
,, Alan of, 245 
Hugh of, 245 
Lovvnde, Richard, 253 

Lowton Walk, 78-9 
Luccombe, 336 

,, Phil de, 337 
Lucy, Geof. de, 261 
Ludworth, 166 
Lune, the, 74 
Lusignan, Aymer de, 243 
Lutericii canes, 49 
Luttrell, Sir John, 330 
Lyddington, 236 
Lydekker, 32 
Lydford, 340-6 
Lyme forest, 136 
Lymers, 48, 50, 63 
Lyndhurst, 305-6, 315 
Lynne, Will, 248 
Lysle, Sir Nicholas, 327-8 
Lyveden, 243 

Macclesfield forest, 136 
Magnus, Thomas, 123 
Maiden Bradley, 329 
Maidstonfeld, 177 
Maidwell, the, 247 

,, Sir Alan, 243 
Mainour, 14 
Makeney, 198 

Malmesbury, William of, 257 
"Malloesot" bridge, 290 
Malpas, David, 250, 253 

,, Edmund, 248 
Malton, prior of, 57, 60, 1 16 
Malvern forest, 226, 227, 228 
Manley, Peter de, 112, 113 
,, jun., Peter de, 36 
Manners, Sir John, 177 
Manneser, John, 109 
Mansell, 183, 187, 188, 191, 192, 193, 

194, 195, 200, 201 
Mansergh, Roger, 1 1 1 
Mansfield, 14, 37, 66, 204, 212, 215, 216, 


Mantravers, John, 306 
Manver, Earl, 221 
Manwood, 1,13, 25, 54, 63 
Maple, 72-3 
Maplegreen, 132 

Mara, 36, 38, 39, 45, 133, 134, 135 
March, Edmund, Earl of, 338 

,, Roger Mortimer, Earl of, 316, 


Marchington, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141 
" Mareclos," 189 
Mares, Robert de, 243 
Maresfield, 301, 302 
Markam, Gervase, 64 
Marlborough, 326 
Marmyon, Philip, 147 
Marnham, Nicholas de, 161 
Marshall, John, 170, 322 
Martendale Fell, 85 



Martin, the, 25, 36 
Martinside, 163 
Martinsley, 235 
Marton, 125 
Mary, Queen, go, 297 
Master of Game, The, 61, 62 
" Masers," 72 
Mastiff, 34, 47, 48, 50 
Mathew, Richard, 311 
Maunsell, William, 129 
Mawes, Robert, 235, 236 
" Maxenclif," 189 
May, William, 155 
Maynestonfield, 167 
Meaux, Sir John de, 38 
Medue, Henry de, 161, 163 
Medwood forest, 191 
Meht, Maurice de, 242, 243 
Melburne, 54, 206 
Melksham, 29, 323 
Mendip forest, 29, 53, 333 
Menill, Sir Nicholas de, 36 
Mensis -vetitus, 60 
Menzies, Mr., 297, 299 
Mercer, Ellis, 264 

,, Henry le, 148 
Merivale, 13, 158, 160 
Merlins, 38 
Mernyk, William, 271 
Mersey, the, 133 
Merton, 288 

,, of Merton, 133 
Messarius, 239 
Messias, John, 245 
Metham, Sir Thomas, 119 
Meverell, Sir Sampson, 168 
Meynell, Nicholas, 112, 113 
Meysam, Sir William de, 155 
Michegros, Cecilia de, 277 
Middlescough, 93 
Middleton, 36, 38, 96, 113, 116, 248, 261 

,, Peter de, 213 

,, William de, 147 

Middleton-in-Teesdale, 96 
Milborne, Sir T. , 318 
Milchet, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 320 
Milford, 37, 314 

,, Edmund de, 314 
Milking of ewes, 165 
Miller, Walter the, 241 
Millhay, 202 
Milner, Robert de, 163 
Milnhay, 183, 186, 190, 193, 195 
Milo, Earl of Hereford, 275 
Milton, 86 

Mine Law Court, the, 282 
Minestead manor, 40 
Minors, Humphrey, 142 
Mirabel, Roger, 341 
Mirhaud, Hugh de, 161 

,, Katherine de, 161 

Mitchell, William, 292 

Mody, William, 311 

Moens, Mr., 304 

Molines, Michael, 263 

Molineux, Bart., Sir F. , 220 

Molland, 337 

Molyneux, Thomas, 194 

Mompesson, Druce, 311 

Monemue, John de, 259 

Monk, George, Duke of Albemarle, 322 

,, Mr., 232 
Monkton, Robert, 80 
Monmouth, John de, 275 
Monneysilver, Ralph de, 103 
Montague, Edward, Lord, 255 
Montfort, Simon de, 162, 244 
Montgomery, John, 194 

,, Walter de, 54 

Montpelier, William of, 257 
Monumental Effigies, 65 
Monyash, 163, 167 
Moorhay, 250, 251, 252, 255, 256 
Moray, Earl of, 109 
Morborne, 270 
More, the, 138 

,, Richard de la, 277 
Morel of Merton, 44 
,, Tutbury, 44 
Morf Forest, 223, 225 
Morley Park, 183, 184, 185, 188, 191, 

192, 193, 194, 195, 200 
Morley, Sir Oswald, 140 
Mortimer, Edmund, 148 
,, Ralph, 225 
,, Roger, 147, 225, 226, 335 
Mortimer's history, 131 
Morvill, Hugh de, 90, 91 
Moryn family, 113 
Mot combe, 331 
Mote, 297 
Mottisfont, 314 

Moudrem, 36, 38, 39, 133, 134, 135 
Moulton, 337 
Mugginton, 69, 129 
Mulgrave, 112 
Multon, Thomas de, 91 
Mundy, Mr., 145 
Munekan, Peter, 259, 260 
Murdoch, Henry, 234 
Murrain, 28, 115, 120, 324 
Musgrave, Sir William, 95 
Mutton, Robert, 280 
Myerscough forest, So, 98, 100 
Myneers, John de, 54 
Myrepitte, 344 

Nafferton, William, 1 14 
Nantwich, 133 
Nash's Worcestershire, 227 
Nassaburgh, 237, 238 
Nassington, 239 



Natural History of Selborne, 8 1 
Needham, Hug-h, 173 

William, 175 

Need-wood Forest, 145 
Needwood forest, 2, 16, 42, 43, 45, 53, 
54, 72, 80, 137, 138, 141, 142, 743, 144, 
145, 160, 201 
Nene, the, 247 

Neroche forest, 53, 333, 335, 338 
Netherbrook Booth, 166 
Nets and snares, 3, 58, 59, 255, 271 
Nettleworth, 220 
Nevil, Walter de, 153 
Nevill, Geoffrey de, 92, 126, 208 
,, Peter, 69 
,, Richard de, 94 
,, Sir Geoffrey, 311 
Nev lie, Edmund de, 104 

Hug-h de, 46, 125, 224, 240, 241, 

267, 275 

Peter de, 233, 234 
Ralph de, 213 
Richard, 201 
Robert de, 210 
Sir Henry, 297 
New Forest, 2, 16, 40, 78, 85, 86, 255, 

34-9. 3 T 5 

Kent wood, 74 

Lodg-e Walk, 78, 79, 299 

Park, 219 

Sarum, 313, 318 

Windsor, 58, 295 
Newark, 126, 205 
Newbiggin, 186 
Newborough, 142 
Newbury, 327 
Newby, 114 
Newcastle, 87 

Daniel de, 88 

Newland, 66, 279, 280 
Newsome Park, 77 
Newton, 118, 129, 239, 253 

,, Dale, 120, 122 
Nichols' County History of Leicester, 231 
Nicholl forest, 95 

Nicholls, Rev. H. G., 274, 276, 278 
Niernuyt, John, 306 
Nightingale, John, 250, 251 
Nisbet, Mr., 304 

Noble Art of Venerie or Hunting, 35, 64 
Nonsuch, 296 

Norden, John, 124, 287, 297 
Normandy, 33 
Normanville, Thomas de, 88, 92, too, 

161, 209 

Norris, Sir William, 292, 295 
North Petherton forest, 333 

,, Wingfield, 153 
Northampton, 237, 238, 244, 247 

,, William of, 241, 242 

Northamptonshire forests, 73, 245, 253 

Northumberland forest, 87-90 

Northwell, 209 

Norton, 237 

Notes and Queries, 221 

Nottingham, 40, 162, 199, 204, 206, 207, 
208, 209, 210, 212, 213, 
215, 216, 220 
,, Geoffrey de, 155 

,, Nicholas de, 212 

Nowers, Robert de, 245, 246 

Noy, 297 

Numbles, 119 

Nut geld, 73 

Nutley, 267 

Nuts, 137, 233, 265 

Nycholson, Thomas, 95 

Oak, 68, 69-70, 74 

Oakemanton, Thomas, 195 

Oakham, 232, 233, 234 
,, Soke, 235 

Oakingham, 267 

Oare, 336, 337 

Odo, 108 

Offerton, 150 

Offlow, 137 

Okhill, 132 

Old, 244 

,, Lodge Walk, 79 
,, Sarum, 315 
,, Swinford, 149 

Oldenburgh, Duke of, 79 

Ollerton Corner, 221 

Olney Park, 80 

Ombersley forest, 226, 227 

Orchard, William, 292 

Ormerod, 131, 133, 134, 136 

Orreby, Thomas de, 160 

Osmond, Master, 194 

Otter, 37 

Otterhounds, 49 
! Otterbrook Booth, 166 
j Oundle, 253, 254 

Ouse, 125 

Outbounds, 9 
i Outlodges, 9, 322 
Outwoods, 9 
[ Overhaddon, 172 
i Overtoil, 235 

| Oxford, 35, 77, 257, 259, 260, 261, 268 
I Oxfordshire forest, 257-65 
! Oxhey, 166 

Packer, Richard, 191 

Padbury, 268 

Page, J. S. W., 340 

Palers, palesters or palifers, 24, 316 

Palgrave, 4 

Panetria, Henry de, 93 

Pannage, 14, 41-2, 94, 116, 127, 138 

Panshet forest, 313, 322 



Panye de Lench, 276 
Papplewick church, 8 
Park, a, 2 
Parker, Archbishop, 297 

Christopher, 235 

Henry, 171 

Thomas, 193, 236 

Walter, 318 

William le, 1 10 
Parkers, 24 
Parnelldale, 114 
Partridge, 26, 38-9 
Passclew, Sir Robert, 48, 242, 243 
Pauncefote, Grimbald, 148, 228 
Paunsett, 322 
Payn, Simon, 189 
Paynell, Thomas, 37, 302 
Peak forest, 2, 7, 13, 16, 17, 20, 24, 27, 

28 > 3 2 , 33. 37. 43. 44. 45. 49. 5. 57. 
77, 150-80, 182, 183, 191 
Pecche, Sabine, 333 
Pechain, Roger de, 146 
Peche family, 335 
Pechmore, 148 
Pedicatores, 33 
Pedunculata, 71 
Peke, John, 280 

Pembroke, William, Earl of, 280, 314, 
Pendle, 98, 104 [321 

Penhull, 104, 105 
Pennesley, John de, 134 
Penrith, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95 
Pensnet Chase, 148 
Penyard, 230 
Percy, Henry, 114, 117 

Henry Algernon, 88 

John de, 112 

Leo, 1 19 

Thomas, 90 

Sir William de, no, 112 
Pessone, 103 
Peterborough, 239, 249 
Petherton forest, 53, 338 
Pette, Robert, 245 
Pevensey, 301 

Peverel's Castle in Peak Forest, 150 
Peverel, William, 20, 150, 152, 204 
Pewsham forest, 29 
Pheasant, 26, 38-9 
Philip, David, 250, 251 
,, the Knight, 333 
Phillipps MSS., 65 
Phipping Park, 77 
Picheford, Geoffrey de, 290 
Pickering forest, 8, 10, 20, 27, 28, 30, 
3 1 . 35. 36, 37, 3 8 . 39. 43. 
44, 45, 47, 57, 59, 60, 69, 
73, 77, 8, 107-125 
,, Lythe, 13, 107 
,, Yale, 107 
Pigot, Richard, 292 

Pigs, 23, 24 

Pilgrimage of Grace, 88 

Pilgrim, The, 59 

Pilkston, Richard, 191 

Pin, Stephen de, 239 

Pinchon, Emma, 114 

Pinguedo, 50 

Pintclifford, 188 

Pipe Rolls, 33 

Pipewell, 247, 249 

Pippin wood, 96 

Pirbright, 293 

Pitney, 333 

Pitt-Rivers, General, 29 

Pitton, 322 

Plaitford manor, 314 

Pleasley, 208 

Plessis, William de, 333, 334 

Plot's Natural History of Oxfordshire, 


Plumpton Park, 91, 93, 94 
Pycard, John, 163 
Pycroft, William, 172, 173 
Pylton, John, 248 
Pym, John, 324 
Poictow, Roger de, 98 
Polbrook, 248, 253 
Pole, Mr. Wellesley, 286 
Pollard, Hugh, 339 
Poltenhall, 292 
Polyolbion, 274 
Pomfreth, John, 295 
Pontefract, 76, 80, 109 
Poor, Richard le, 287 
Poorstock forest, 7, 330, 332 
Pope, William, 194 
Poplar, 68 
Porcerecii canes, 49 
Porchester forest, 310 
Porlock, 336 
Portsdown Hill, 310 
Portsmouth, 311 
Postern, 183, 185, 186, 188, 189, 190, 191, 

192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 200 
Potter's Charnivood Forest, 231 
Poutura, 22 
Preston, 100, 102 

,, Walter de, 240 
Priestcliffe, 178 

,, Common, '32 

Prostagne, William, 248 
Pulham, 332 
Pullum Masculum, 33 
" Purlieu," 9, 178 
Purprestures, n, 12, 134, 159 
Pursglove, Lawrence, 173 

,, Reginald, 173 

,, Robert, 173 

,, Thomas, 171 
" Putre money," 105 
Future or putre, 22, 105 



Queenbury, 164 

Queentree, 311 

Quercus, 70, 260 

Quernmore forest, 39, 50, 74, So, 98, 99, 

100, 101, 102, 104, 105 
Quincy, Roger de, 91 
Quinfield forest, 56 

Rabbit, 26, 37, 234, 260, 302, 316-17 

Riidford, 220 

Ragged, Richard le, 160 

,, Thomas le, 161, 163 
Randolf, John, 305 
Rangers, 24 
Raskall, 28, 218 
Raskell Park, 76 
Ratcliffe, Sir Cuthbert, 89 

,, ,, John, 235, 248, 292 

Raveningham, Roger, 269 
Ravensdale, 183, 187, 188, 192, 193, 195, 


Ravensworth, Lord, 36 
Rawle, Mr., 335, 336, 337, 338, 339 
Reading, 61, 81, 266, 267, 287 
Red deer, the, 25, 26, 27 

,, Ralph, 239 
Rede, Sir Edmund, 263 
Redescaye, Richard de, 157 
Redlane, 331 
Redlington Park, 72 
Regard, the, u, 38, 39, 48 
Regarders, 10, 11, 14 
Reliquary, 84, 200 
ReliquicE Antiques, 62 
Retia, 140 

Reygny, John de, 337 
Ribbeford, Henry de, 148 
Richard I., 9, 34 

,, II., 120 

,, III., 128, 129 

,, Earl of Salisbury, 94 
"Riding Forester," 20, 129, 135, 146, 


Ridlington, 234, 235, 236 
Rievaulx abbey, 109, 117 
Ringwood, 306 
Rithre, John de, 93 
Rivallis, Peter de, 259 
Rivers, Lord, 61 
Robe, Thomas, 31 
Roberg, John, 140 
Robert of Sudborough, 58 
Robinson, Sir John, 255 
Robur, 70, 260 
Roch, William de, 160 
Roche abbey, 13, 158 

,, forest, 335 

Rockingham Castle and the Watsons, 237 
Rockingham forest, 16, 18, 29, 32, 35, 
38, 46, 47, 48, 50, 56, 58, 60, 79, 85, 
15 !> 2 33 237-56 

Roe, the, 25 

Roedeer, the, 29-30, 114, 115, 305 
Roebuck, Hulle, 224, 336 
Roer, 71, 258, 311, 318, 323 
Rogers, Harmon, 309 
Rokeby, Robert, 235, 236 
Rolleston Park, 138, 141, 142 

,, William, 142 
Roinford, 284 
Romsey, 314 

,, John de, 306 

,, Nicholas de, 244, 245, 269, 288 
Rooke, Major, 220 
Roos, Robert, 247 
Roper, John, 271 
Ros, Sir Richard de, 117 
Rosedale, 116 
Ross, 230 

Rossendale, 98, 104, 105, 106 
Roston, William de, 118 
Rothbury, 87, 89, 90 
Rote/alien, 7 
Rothwell, 248 

Rouclyffe, Sir David de, 118 
Router, William, 214 
Rowe, F.S.A., J. Brooking, 340, 341, 342 

,, Samuel, 340, 344, 445, 346 
Rowend Hill, 74 
Rowland Glade, 254 
Rowley Park, 138, 142 
Roxby, 113, 124 

Rudder's Neiv History of Gloucester- 
shire, 274 

Rufford, 207, 209, 215, 218, 222 
Rumewood, 206, 207 
Rus, Richard le, 333 
Rushbury, 225 
Rushmore, 29 
Russel, Robert, 316 

,, Geoffrey, 246 
Russey Park, 80 
Rutland Leicester forest, 72 

,, Thomas, Earl of, 216 

Rydale, 166 
Rypox Park, 76 
Ryton, 1 19 
Rywardyn, 277 

Sacheverel, Henry, 194 

,, Ralph, 192 

,, William, 194 

Sadler, Sir Ralph, 175 
St. Albans, 63 
St. Augustine's, Bristol, 334 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Oxford, 259 
St. Briavel, 31, 275, 277, 279, 280 
St. Budoc, Oxford, 259 
St. Clements, York, 126 
St. John Baptist's Hospital, Burford, 258 
,, ,, ,, Oxford, 259, 




St. John, Richard de, 206 
St. Leonards forest, 37, 39, 301, 302 
,, Hospital, York, 126 

,, Lancaster, 99 

St. Martin's, Salisbury, 322 
St. Mary's Abbey, York, 13, 22, 34, 115, 

i 20, 127 

,, College, Spink Hill, 33 
,, Lancaster, 102 
,, Winchester, 327 
St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester, 13 
St. Petrock, Lydford, 341 
St. Thomas, Stafford, 147 
St. Werburgh, Chester, 131 
St. Wolfstan's, Worcester, 148 
St. Wystan, Worcester, 148 
Saladyn, Richard, 148 
Salcey forest, 78, 85, 237, 241, 256, 267 
Sale, John de, 166 
Salford, Richard, 193 
Salfordshire, 105 
Salisbury, 38, 313, 316, 317 

,, William, Earl of, 288 

Salkeld, 91 
Salmon, 90 
Salmon, John, 252 
Salop forest, 34, 146 
Saltatoria, 56 
Salteries, 56 
Salting venison, 108 
Salvory de Malo Leone, 314 
Samborne Park, 80 
Samford, Hugh de, 325 
,, Thomas, 325 
,, Warner de, 325 
Sampson, Robert, 233 
Sandford, 96 
Sandes, Sir William, 328 
Sandford, Brian, 118, 119, 120, 121 
Sapcote, Thomas, 235 
Sapcotes, Sir John, 272 
Sapley, 269, 272 
Sauvey, 235 
Savage, Edward, 194 
Savage's History of Carhampton 

Hundred, 335 
Savage, Roger, 33 

Sir George, 173 
Sir John, 168, 169, 170 
Sir Richard, 168, 172, 173 
Thomas, 168 
William, 123 
Savernake, 85, 326-7 
Sawyer, Edward, 255 
Say, Robert de, 290 
Scalby, 35, 1 14 
,, Hay, 35 
Scarborough, 36, 60, 109, 116, 119, 126 

,, Robert de, 126 

Scarbrough, Thomas, 251 
Scarsdale, 167 

Schymeed, 186 

Sclatter, William, 280 

Scot, Hugh le, 224 

" Sealing-axe," 23, 320 

Seamer, 30, 109 

Selden Society, 237 

Select Pleas of the Forest, see Forest Pleas 

Selkley, 326 

Selvestrode, John dc, 228 

Selwood forest, 7, 53, 329, 330, 333, 335 

Serjeanty, a, 33 

Sessliflora, 70 

Seton, prioress of, 46 

Seymor, Henry, 80 

Seymour, Henry, 145 

,, Jane, 339 
Shaftesbury, 330 
Shallcross, John, 170 
Shapelegh, 341 
Shatton, 150 

,, Peter de, 165 
Shaventon, Henry de, 147 
Shaw's Staffordshire, 141 
Sheep, 24, 33, 35, 44-5 
Sheepshed, 231 
Shefeld, Robert, 135 
Sheffield, 162 
Shelford, 207 
i Sheperd, John, 113 
Sherborne, 35 
Sherbrook, W., 220 
Sherif Hutton, 77 

Sherwood forest, 2, 8, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 
28, 3 2 . 35. 36, 37 38, 40, 66, 69, 76, 
85, 204-22 

Sherwood Forest, 220 
Shetten, W T illiam le, 337 
Shining Cliff, 192 
Shipley, 164 

,, Nicholas de, 185 
Shireholt Park, 141, 142 
Shirley, Mr. Evelyn, 85 

,, Nicholas, 194 
Shorter, Ralph, 311 
Short Treatise of Hunting, 64 
Shotover forest, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 

262, 263, 268 
Shotter, John, 318 
Shottle, 58, 183, 185, 186, 187, 190, 191, 

192, 193, 196, 197, 200, 203 
Shotwick park, 133 
Shortwood, 250, 255, 256 
Shrewsbury, 224 

,, Francis, Earl of, 173 

,, George, Earl of, 142, 174, 


,, Gilbert, Earl of, 177 

Shropshire forests, 223-6 
Shupton, John, 128 

,, William, 128 
Siberton, 239 



Sidbury, 228 

Silva regis, 4 

Silverston forest, 7 

Silwood coppice, 80 

Simeon, Simon, 112, 115 

Simondsley, William de, 184 

Simonsbath, 339 

Sinclair, Robert, 333 

Skeffing-ton, Adam, 232 
,, Robert, 232 

Skegby, 66 

Skelton, 109, 129 

,, Adam, in, 115 

,, Richard, 28, in, 115 

Skerradon, 341 

Slake, Thomas, 169 

Slindon, 303 

Slope, Richard de, 189 

Slyfeld, Henry, 293 

Slyfield, Alan de, 289 

Smallcross, Richard de, 157 

Smythe, Nicholas, 252 
,, William, 252 

Snape, Walter de, 277 

Snares, 3, 58, 59 

Snitterton, 192 

Somborne, 311 

Somerset, Sir Charles, 193 

Somersetshire forests, 333-39 

Somersham Park and Chase, 79 

Somerton, 26, 35, 36, 209, 333, 335, 336, 


Sonning 1 , 295 

Sono, Otto de Grandi, 147 
Southwell, 212, 220 
Sowerby, 95 
Sownd, Richard, 251 
Spanda, 136 
Spark, Richard, 135 
Sparrow hawks, 38 
Sparsholt, 31 1 
Spear, 34 
" Special vert," 69 
Spetchley, 85, 227, 228 
Spicer, Captain, 325 
Spire, 75, 251 
Splipting', Harman, 79 
Spofforth Park, 77 
Spyre, 74 

Squier, Robert le, 52, 53 
Squirrel, 37, 136 
Stafford, Humphrey, 338 

,, John, 193 
Staffordshire forests, 137-49 
Staindale, 45 
Stamford, 46, 234, 247, 249, 254, 259 

,, Archdeacon Adam de, 156 
Stanbridge, 235 
Standrells, 73 
Stanhope, 96 

,, Edward, 197, 199 

Stanion, 241, 250 
Stanley, 323, 324 

,, family, 132 

,, Sir John, 105 

W r illiam de, 132, 134, 135 
Stapelhurst, William de, 229 
Stanton, Adam de, 157 
Stawell, Lord, 310 
Stanwick, 246 
Statham, Goditha de, 191 
,, Thomas de, 190 
Stauntene, 277 
Stayndale, 118 
! Staynton, Robert, 113 
Steeple Claydon, 268 
Stephen, Robert, 118 
Stillington, 128, 129 
Stilton, 270 

,, Richard of, 270 
Stockley park, 138 
Stoke, 150, 242 
Stokehern, 235 
Stokehill, 166 

Stokeley, 138, 141, 142, 236 
Stoke Pero, 336 
Stokes, Master, 194 
Stokton, Henry, 292 
Stone, 147 
Stonyford, 268 
Stothard, 65 
Stottesden, 226 
Stourton, Sir John, 317 
Stowe, 206, 228 

; Stowood forest, 257, 258, 262, 263 
Straknr, 49 
Strensall, 128, 129 
! Stroud, 323 

Stubb or Stub, 75, 122-3, 2 5 : 
Stubbs, Bishop, 4 
Studley, 323 
Stukeley, Gerard, 272, 273 

,, John, 273 

Stumpsden, 235 
Sturdi, Robert, 239, 240 
Sudborough, 242, 243 
Sugrave forest, 7 
Sulehay, 250, 255, 256 
Sulley, 131 
Sultan, John de, 118 
Sunninghill, 297 

Sussex, Parks and Forests of, 302 
Sussex forests, 301-3 
Sutlegh, Bartholomew de, 261 
Sutton, 220 

,, Allen, 172 
Sutton-in-the-Dale, 153 
Sutton-on-the-Forest, 127 
Swainmotes, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 272 
Swainsley, 38 
Swan, 26, 37-8 
Swansley, 38 



Sweet chestnut, 68, 71, 278 

Swindg-el, the, 84 

Swine and Pannage, 41-2 

Swinfield, Bishop, 230 

Swynnerton, Robert de, 134 

Sycamore, 68 

Sydenham, Sir Edward, 203 

Sylvestres, 63 

Symondes, John, 264 

Sympson, Thomas, 199 

Syward, John, 334 

" Tack " court, 42 
Tack dinner, 200 
Talbot, Gilbert, 279 

,, Thomas, 194 
Tanner, Thomas, 103 
Tanning- of hides, 9 
Tatenhill, 137 
Tatershall, 154 
Tattishall, Martin de, 240 
Taunton, 336, 337 
Teddesley, 146 
Teddington, 178 
Tees, 96 

Teesdale forest, 77, 96 
Teme, 227 
Temple Nevvson, 77 
Terra regis, 4 
Tetlowe, Edmund, 196 
Tewksbury, 280 
Thany, Luke de, 277 

,, William de, 260 
Theyden, 283 
Thief-net, 59 

Thirnum, Richard de, 101 
Thistiltak, 128 
Toftes, 159 

Thomson, Gilbert, 330 
,, Thomas, 57 
Thoresby, 85, 219, 222 
Thorney, 216 
Thornhaw, 255 
Thornhill, 159, 292 
Thornton, Peter de, 135 
Thorpe, 288, 293 

,, Simon de, 269 
Thoughts upon Hunting, 64 
Thrapston, 243 
Thurgarton, 205 

Thurlbear, James of, 241 

Tickhill, 207 

Tideswell, 30, 150, 151, 152, 159, 166, 

167, 168, 170, 173, 175, 179 
Tinge wick, Roger of, 241 
Tintern, 280 
Tock, Roger, 239, 240 
Tolberton, 129 
Topcliff Great Park, 77 

Little 77 

Topcliffe, 125 

,, John, 109 
Tordebig, 149 
Torrens, 167 
Totenhoe, 251 
Totnes, 347 
Tottenham House, 327 
Totyngton, 104 
Towcester, 237 
Town of Pickering, 43 
Townsend, 209 
Toxteth forest, 99 

,, park, 98 
Trafford, Richard de, 134 
Trawden, 98 
Treasury of Receipt Forest Proceedings, 


Treatise on the Forest Laws, 25 
Trees of the forest, 68-75 
Trent, 79, 92, 206, 208, 209 
Troutbek, William, 192 
Troutsdale, 40 
Trowbridge, 322 
Trowden, 104, 105 
Trubleville, Ralph de, 241 
Trusley, 155 
Tudenham, 277 
Tuluse, Simon, 245, 246 

,, William, 245, 246 
Tunsted, Francis, 177 
Tuppeleye, Robert de, 139 
Turbervile, 35, 36, 64 
Turkil, Bartholomew, 271 

,, William, 271 
Turner, Mr., 2, 3, 13, 25, 29, 49, 70, 92, 

209, 224, 227, 234, 237, 238, 241, 245, 

268, 269, 284, 301 
Turnus, 166 
Turton, Mr., 27, 116 

,, Sir John, 80, 145 
Tutbury, 16, 54, 88, 137, 138, 139, 140, 

141, 142, 144, 174, 176, 182, 187, 189, 

190, 191 

Twici, 48, 50, 61, 62, 63, 64 
Twiford, 235 
Twinditch, 187, 198 
Two Bridges, 345 
Twynyho, William, 330 
Tybetot, Richard, 147 
Tycknell, 226 
Tymparon, Robert de, 93 

Ugretred, Thomas, 112 
Ulverscroft, 231 
Unwin, Thomas, 323, 324 
Upper Booth, 166 
Upping, 37 
Uppingham, 235, 236 
Uttoxeter, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 
20 1 



Vale of the Hope, 150 

Vale Royal, 134 

Velters, 49 

Veltrarius, 53 

Venatia de Duffield Frith, 188 

Venison Pleas, n, 12, 15 

Venlands, 167 

Venoit, Robert de, 309 

Ventrers, 53 

Venville, of Dartmoor, 9 

Venvillemen, 307 

Verderers, 17-18, 102, 157 

Verdon, Thomas de, 93 

Vernon, Edward, 80, 145 

John, 192 

Richard de, 160, 164, 167, 168 

Roger, 192, 193, 194, 195 

Sir Henry, 168 

Walter, 179 
Vert Pleas, u, 12, 14, 15, 69 

,, Walk, 255 
Vertue, George, 222 
Vesci, Baron William de, 156 
Vesey, John de, 92, 100 

,, William de, 88, 92, 209, 210 
Vezpont, Robert de, 96 
Victoria History of Hampshire, 304 
Vieville, Baron of, 79 
Vikars, Richard, 95 
Vyning, Mathew, 330 

Wade, John, 251 
Wake, Thomas, 38, 117 
Wakefield forest, 7 

,, New Park, 70 
Old 76 
Waldeshef, Walter, 302 
Walerund, Walter, 289 

,, William, 289 

Waleys, Sir Stephen le, 164 
Walkelin, William, 33 
Wallingford, 108 
Waltham Abbey, 34, 47 
" ,, Blacks," 81 

,, Chase, 81 

,, forest, 31, 59, 79, 85, 271, 
283, 284, 286, 312 
Walthamstow Walk, 78 
Wanburgh, 293 
Wanstead, 40, 79 
Wapentake, 198 
Warcop, 96 
Ward, 14 

,, William, 1 1 1 
Warden, a, 17 
Wardley, 235, 236 
Wardlow, 159, 180 
Ware, Thomas, 345 
Warkworth Park, 77, 89 
Warren, a, 2, 26 

,, beasts of, 26 

W T arren, Earl of, 96 
,, fowls of, 26 

Warwickshire forest, 229 

Wastedale, Roger de, 94 

Wastedalehead, 94, 95 

Waterhouse, Thomas, 191 

Waterville, Richard de, 240 
,, Simon of, 246 

Watkinson, Richard, 252 

Watton, 119 

Wax, 40 

" Waymuthe," 291 

" Waynelodes," 200 

Weardale forest, 96, 97 

Wearne, 333 

Webbe, Richard le, 337 

Wedgwood, Dr., i 

Wednesley, Thomas de, 166 

Weedhaw, 255 

W'eford, Richard de, 132 

Welbeck, 158, 160, 166, 222 

Welbeck Abbey, 13 

Weldon, 254 

Welland, the, 235, 247 

Welles, John, Lord, 248, 250, 251, 252 

Wellington, Roger of, 224 
' Wellow, 209 
| Wells, 336, 338 
; W'ensdale forest, 77 
: Wensleydale forest, 130 
| Weseham, Roger de, 156 
! West Bere, 31 1 

,, Derby forest, 98, 103, 104 
,, Henalt Walk, 78 
,, Luccombe, 336 

Westbrook, John, 293 

Westerdale, 1 13 

Westhay, 250, 251, 255, 256 

Westhorpe, John, 118 

Westminster, 108, 112, 131, 224 
Hall, 71 

Westmoreland forest, 95-6 

Weston, 163, 269 

,, Richard, 271, 295 

Westwood, 95, 228 

Wever of Wever, 133 

Weybridge forest, 7, 58, 79, 269, 271, 
272, 273 

W r eyley, Simon de, 156 

Whaley Bridge, 179 

Wharmore, 105 

Wharton, Sir Henry, 94 
,, ,, Thomas, 94 

Wheston, John, 264 

W T hightmede Park, 280 

Whinfell Park, 92 

Whistler, Edward, 263 

Whitaker, Mr. Joseph, 85 

Whitby, 109, 114, 116, 121, 122 

Whitchurch, Richard of, 234 

White, Gilbert, 81 


37 1 

White Hart Forest, 331 
,, Lodge, 219 
,, Silver, 332 
Whitehall, 255 

,, Bridge, 166 
Whitehede, John, 311 
Whitelock, Sir Bulstrode, 299 
Whitethorn, 68, 73, 74 
Whitfield, 158, 179 
Whittington, Arthur, 142 
Whittlebury forest, 237 
Whittlewood forest, 67, 78, 85, 237, 255, 

256, 262, 267, 268 
Whittlesey, 271 
Whit wick, 231 
Whitworth, Rev. R. H., 204 
W T horley Castle, 112 
Whyte, Thomas, 345 
Wick, 246 
Wigley, John, 196 
Wigornia, Margery de, 148 
Wilcock, 213 
William I., 5, 305 

HM 34 
III., 106 

Duke of Devonshire, 80 
Marquis of Hartington, 80 
the Hermit, 108 
Willoughby, Richard de, no 

,, Sir Harry, 193, 194, 195 

,, William, 263, 264 

Willow, 68 
Willowbrook, 237 
W T illybrook, 248 
Wilson, Thomas, 95 
Wilton, 313, 315 

John, 311 
Wiltshire forests, 313-29 
Wimbalds Trafford, 134 
Wimersley, 237 
Winchester, 289, 310, 311 
Windesharn, 293 
Windley Hill, 196 

Windsor forest, 7, 13, 21, 32, 34, 36, 38, 
42, 52, 56, 73, 79, 81, 85, 266, 
267, 287-300, 310, 339 
,, Great Park, 78, 79 
,, Little ,, 78 
Wingfield, 195 
\Vinsford, 336 
Winter Heyning, 41 
Wintour, Sir John, 281 
Wirksall, Walter, 113 
Wirksworth, 153, 167, 181, 191, 196, 


W'irral, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135 
Wise, Mr., 237, 304, 305 
Wisp, the, 235 
Withcote, 235 
Withyham, 301 
Withypool, 336 

Witney, 262 

Woburn, 346 

Wode, John, 293 

Wodeard, William, 277 

Wodsylver, 167 

Woking, 293 

Wokingham, 267 

Wolf, the, 21, 25, 26, 32-4, 48 

Wolfedge, 32 

Wolfhope, 22 

W T olfhunte, John le, 33 

Wolfrich, W r illiam, 246 

Wolfpit, 32 

Wolfscote, 32 

,, Dale, 32 

,, Grange, 32 

Hill, 32 
Wolfstone, 32 
Wolstanton, 225 
Wolston, Sir Grey, 250 
Wolverley, 149 
Wonstan, Aver, 344 
Woodborough, 213 
Woodbury manor, 341 
Woodchurch, 132 
W r oodcock, 26, 130 
Woodcockleigh, 336 
Woodford Walk, 78 
Woodhay, 266 
Wood Mill, 143 

\Voodmote, 13, 104, 139, 190-200 
Woodruff, George, 173 
Woodstock, 7, 48, 257 
Woodward, the, 22-3 
Woolmer forest, 85, 309-10 
Woolow, 32 

Wootton, William of, 245 
Worcester, 107, 148, 225, 227, 228 
Worcestershire forests, 226-9 
Worfield, 223 
Worf river, 223 
Worksop, 204 
Wormegay, 206 
Wormhill, 153, 159, 163 

,, Adam de, 164 

,, Michael de, 164 

Worplesdon, 293 
Worsley, James, 168 
Wotehall, Hugh of, 2:3 
Wragmire Moss, 95 
" Wrassel okes," 254 
Wrekin, 225 
Wrenstye, 249 
Wressel Park, 77 
Wright and Halliwell's Reliquice An- 

h'gute, 62 
Writtle, 283, 284 
Wrothesly, Walter, 323 
Wroughton, 326 
Wryght, Roger, 171 
Wurth, Robert de, 157 



Wychwood forest, 31, 85, 257, 258, 259, 

260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 268 
Wydehawe, 241 
"Wydelands," 167 
Wye, the, 168 
Wyers, 59 
Wyersdale forest, 40, 45, 74, 80, 98, 100, 

101, 102, 105 
Wyke, John, 344 
Wykeham, prioress of, 45 
Wykes, William, 344 
Wylde, Rev. Dr., 220 

,, William, 220 
Wyliamescote, 261 
Wyndham, Mr., 339 
Wyne, William, 337 
Wynfleth, Robert de, 137 
" Wynlands," 167 
Wynlands of the Peak, 9 
Wynn, William le, 163 
Wynston, Thomas, 196, 197 
Wynton, Simon de, 307 

,, Sir Richard de, 307 

Wyott, 107 
Wyrall, Jenkin, 66 
Wyre forest, 225-7 
Wyre-ceastre, 225 
Wyte, Richard, 344 
Wytemore, John de la, 146 
Wyther, Philip, 277 

,, William, 100 
Wyvill, William, 113 

Yath, the, 121 

Yeland, Hugh de, no, in 

Yew Lodging", 226 

York, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130 

,, Cecilia, Duchess of, 323, 324 
Yorkshire forests, 107-30 

,, Hurst Park, 77 

,, Wolds, 32 
Ysabel, William, 344 
Young's Agricultural Survey, 301 
Yoxall, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141 
Yoxley, 270 

Zouch, John, 249, 250, 253 



MESSRS. METHUEN have commenced 
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The series is edited by the well-known antiquary, 
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A special feature is made of the illustrations, which 
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"The letterpress and pictures are remarkably good throughout: both 
author and publishers are to be congratulated on the issue of so attractive and 
useful a book." Athentzum. 

" A luminously written record, with excellently well drawn and selected 
illustrations. " Manchester Guardian. 

"An admirable summary of a large field illustrated with a series of 
beautiful plates." Spectator. 


" Shrines of British Saints " deals with a class of monuments which, 
throughout the Middle Ages, was of magnetic attraction, largely governing 
the social and religious life of the nation, but which has all but ceased to 
exist in the British Isles. From illumined page and fragmentary sculpture 
the style and structure of shrines is here set forth. The art bestowed upon 
them, the influence they had upon the designs of cathedrals and great 
churches, and the legends surrounding them, form a subject of no mean value 
in the life of Englishmen. 


The main object of this work is to show how modem methods of Com- 
parative Archaeology may be utilised as a means of detecting erroneous 
conclusions, whether founded on imperfect observations, false statements, 
or the actual forgery of objects. A brief account is given of a number of 
discoveries in various parts of the world which have become the subject of 
controversy, as well as some notable forgeries. Then follows a criticism of 
the so-called "idols," "totems," " ckuringas" etc., recently found in the 
Clyde valley, which are still the subject of acute controversy. The con- 
cluding chapter deals with the lessons to be derived from the above narrative 
of the results of ignorance, fraud, and imposture. 


The reader is here presented with a graphic picture of the Manor as it 
existed in England from an early period till the social changes of the seven- 
teenth century. The manor-house and the manorial estate are fully described. 
The relations between the lord and his tenants, the customs of the manor, the 
duties of officers and servants, the routine of work, and the ancient system 
of husbandry, rights of common and inclosures are each in turn dealt with. 
Examples of the various classes of Manorial Records, as Court Rolls, Bailiff's 
Accounts and Extents, are given from original sources. A list of existing 
Court Rolls with their place of deposit and a Bibliography of Manorial 
literature form an Appendix to the volume, which is illustrated by facsimiles, 
plans, and views. 



This manual traces the evolution of the seal in England in a series of 
sections. The principal of these deal with seals of the sovereign and those 
of royal courts, etc. ; the seals of archbishops ; courts ecclesiastical ; those of 
the peers of the realm ; and ladies of rank ; seals of the bishops and clergy ; 
those of county families, knights, and squires. The second main division 
covers seals of corporations, monastic houses, universities, trading gilds, towns, 
schools, and so forth. Under these sections the seals of individuals are 
grouped as far as possible in types, and it is hoped that the volume will form 
a useful guide to the age, artistic merit, etc., of these beautiful works of art, 
which have been far too much neglected. No work of the kind has hitherto 
been produced, and it will be seen from it how the seal engraver's art is a 
reflex of the opinion of the time. The power of the sovereign, his style and 
titles, the progress of religious thought, the rise and development of the science 
of heraldry, and of Gothic art, are all seen, so that the study is not one that 

can be lightly put aside by workers in the by-paths of history, theology, or 
art. The illustrations have been specially drawn from the original seals by 
Mr. Constance Canning, and are very carefully and finely executed. 

J. C. COX, LL.D., F.S.A. 

The object of these pages is to set forth both the general and particular 
history of the wastes preserved for royal sport throughout England which 
were under forest law. Short accounts of all these forests are given, and 
in certain cases, such as Sherwood Forest, the Forest of the High Peak, 
Needwood Forest, Cranborne Chase, the forests of Northamptonshire, 
Cheshire, and Oxfordshire, Windsor Forest, Clarendon?Forest, Dartmoor, and 
Pickering Lyth, much of their story is told in detail. It will be found that 
by far the larger portion of the book deals with original material, chiefly 
culled from the stores of the Public Record Office. The introductory chapters 
give an outline description of the laws, courts, and ministers of the forests, 
together with considerable fresh information as to red, fallow, and roe deer, 
wild boar, wolf, and other beasts of the chase or warren. The punishment 
inflicted by .forest courts for "vert," as well as "venison" offences, together 
with accounts of wood sales, bring to light much that pertains to the earlier 
tree-lore of England. The book is illustrated by a variety of reproductions 
from old MSS. and early printed books, as well as by old plans, foresters' 
gravestones, and ancient trees. 


J. C. COX, LL.D., F.S.A., AND A. HARVEY, M.B. 

In these pages far fuller accounts than have yet been attempted are given, 
from the earliest examples down to the end of the seventeenth century, of 
such extant objects as altars, altar-stones, holy tables, altar rails, sedilia, 
aumbries, piscinas, holy water stoups, Easter sepulchres, gospel lecterns, 
pulpits, both of wood and stone, hour-glasses, candlesticks, chests, and poor- 
boxes. Particular attention has been bestowed upon screens, stalls, bench- 
ends, and seats. Fonts and font covers are treated with considerable fulness. 
A short account is given of altar-plate, including pyxes, censors, and paxes. 
Among the exceptional curiosities of later days, the several instances of those 
remarkable instruments, the ' ' vamping horns," are set forth, and various 
noteworthy examples of early royal arms and Tables of Commandments are 
specified. Tentative lists, classified according to date, are given of the known 
examples of these different objects of church furniture throughont England. 
The illustrations are numerous, and for the most part original, or specially 
drawn for this work. 








ABBOT GASQUET, O.S.B., D.D., PH.D., D.Lrrr. 


Other Volumes are in course of arrangement. 




Cox, John Charles 

The royal forests of